Lambda variant 'possibly' as transmissible as Delta variant — expert

Published August 16, 2021, 1:45 PM

by Gabriela Baron

An infectious disease expert on Monday, Aug. 16, said the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Lambda variant is possibly as transmissible as the Delta variant.


In an interview with ANC, Dr. Rontgene Solante, head of adult infectious diseases at the San Lazaro Hospital, said the Lambda variant, first identified in Peru, has a similar mutation in the spike protein such as those seen in other variants of concern.

“There’s a possibility that the transmissibility will be as same as that as the Delta variant, higher than the Alpha, higher than the Gamma, and more or less can be the same as the Delta variant” Solante said.

“We know that Delta can multiply faster, has more viral load, and if this Lambda variant can behave as such, then we have another variant that can be a driver or a possible cause of surge of cases,” he continued.

The Lambda variant, currently listed as variant of interest, is driving the surge in Latin American countries.

Solante added that there are also findings that the Lamba variant can possibly reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, however, he stressed that no data is available yet and believes that vaccines “can still be effective against Lambda.”

“We have to protect ourselves as what we’re experiencing with Delta. We need to treat this something like Delta. We need to enhance vaccination rollout, protect ourselves, and always comply with health protocols.”

The Philippines reported on Sunday its first case of the Lambda in a 35-year-old female patient who tested positive in July and has since recovered, according to the Department of Health.