American scientists reported that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strain, first recorded in California last spring, maybe more dangerous and resistant to vaccines than the original strain.

Researchers and healthcare professionals have become increasingly concerned about this new variant, known as B.1.427 / B.1.429, in the state, The New York Times reports.

The experiments analyzed 2,172 virus samples isolated in California between September 2020 and January 2021. It turned out that in California, the number of cases of infection with B.1.427 / B.1.429 doubles every 18 days. This variant is 40 times more effective in infecting human cells than earlier strains, and the viral load in the nose and throat in patients was twice as high as in those infected with other variants.

B.1.427 / B.1.429 is as worrisome as other new strains emerging in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, scientists say. Antibodies that appear in people vaccinated or recovered from the classic SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus were less effective against the new strain. However, it appears to be inferior to the South African strain in its ability to resist the human immune system.

An analysis of 300 infections showed that the California strain increases the likelihood of dying from COVID-19, but this result is not statistically significant, since only 12 people in the sample died. Scientists also doubt that B.1.427 / B.1.429 will become widespread, unlike the British strain B.1.1.7, which is rapidly replacing other variants of the coronavirus.