Dr Simon Clarke, an associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, warned the strain may be resistant to current vaccines.
University of Edinburgh researchers have reportedly found 32 cases of the B1525 variant in Britain.Experts at the university say this new strain contains the E484K mutation to the spike protein.
This mutation has been found in the South Africa and Brazil variants – and is believed to help the disease evade the antibodies which beat it.
Dr Clarke told The Guardian : “We don’t yet know how well this [new] variant will spread, but if it is successful it can be presumed that immunity from any vaccine or previous infection will be blunted.
“I think that until we know more about these variants, any variants which carry E484K should be subject to surge testing as it seems to confer resistance to immunity, however that is generated.”
More than 100 cases of the B1525 variant have been found around the world, according to the University of Edinburgh team.