Friday, April 19, 2024

Omicron is more worrying than expected due to an unprecedented boom

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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A week after news of the new Omicron variant was discovered by South Africa and the lack of information about its severity, a study concluded that the variant has a good chance of becoming the most prevalent in the world after originally affecting a Co-infected patient due to an insertion mutation not observed in the other variants.

The study, conducted by researchers from the US-based data-analysis company “Nference”, confirms that the forecasts of the World Health Organization (WHO) judge the “likelihood of omicron spreading globally”.

“We compared Omicron mutations with previous variants of concern (Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta), variants of interest (Lambda, Mu, Eta, Iota, Kappa) and all SARS-CoV 2 lines that make up the 5.4 million SARS-CoV-2 genomes.” The researchers confirmed.

To indicate that the spike protein for omicron (which is grafted with human cells in vivo, editor’s note) contains 26 amino acid mutations (23 substitutions, two deletions and one insertion)”which differ from other variants of concern” the insertion mutation (ins214EPE)” has not They are previously observed in any SARS-CoV-2 line other than Omicron.”

At this point, the new form, discovered by South Africa with the help of Botswana, has been identified in 38 countries, affecting all continents, within a week and their number continues to rise.

According to the study, it is very likely that the variant coronavirus was the most responsive because it took genetic material from another virus, HCoV-229E, that causes the common cold.

In fact, scientists who sequenced the virus’ RNA (its genetic code, editor’s note) found that it contains the genetic sequence of the virus that causes the common cold in humans. Thus, researchers believe that it is possible that Omicron may have developed in a patient who already has two viruses (the common cold and the coronavirus), and that people with the Omicron variant are also likely to be affected by the virus. same time.

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Sequence data show “co-expression of SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-229E entry receptors in respiratory cells and the gastrointestinal tract (…) It is plausible that the entry of Omicron may have developed in an infected person,” according to the scientists’ conclusion.

While the Omicron virus is surrounded by many unknowns, particularly its severity, health effects, symptoms, and extent of infection, as well as whether or not it is resistant to existing vaccines, the researchers estimate that Omicron will be “more transmissible” than other variables also studied. , but less dangerous than the previous variant.

But faced with the complexity of this new variant, particularly due to its many mutations and data that are currently still obscure, scientists are concerned about its severity.

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