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Omicron 2, Preliminary Study: "It's faster and more pathogenic. Should be considered a variable in its own right"

Omicron 2, Preliminary Study: “It’s faster and more pathogenic. Should be considered a variable in its own right”

The BA.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2, currently called Omicron 2it must be a different kind of interest per se, Due to the viral and pathogenic characteristics that distinguish it from the previous strain. This is suggested by a study published on the pre-press website pure, led by scientists from the University of Tokyo, Kumamoto University, Hokkaido University, Kyoto University, and Weizmann Institute of Science. team led by Daiichi Yamasopa, evaluated the lineage characteristics of the novel BA.2 viral lineage, which is currently a subset of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529 or BA.1) and is rapidly spreading globally.

First discovered in South Africa in November 2021, the Omicron variant quickly spread around the world, With a higher transmission rate than previous variants. In February 2022, several countries, including Denmark And United kingdom, a new strain sequence called BA.2, is considered a subset of the Omicron variant. In this study, scientists evaluated the viral properties of the mutations associated with these two variants, highlighting the many differences that set them apart. The experts conducted a series of experiments in the laboratory and in an animal model, and also devised a statistical system to determine the prevalence of different variants.

Then the researchers found it The reproduction rate of BA.2 is 1.4 times higher than the previous strain. The researchers found that vaccine-induced humoral immunity does not produce the same effects in the two variants and that the antigens are also different. According to what has emerged from experiments in cell cultures, in fact, BA 2 It is more frequent in human nasal epithelial cells than in BA.1. The authors note that these data indicate that Omicron 2 could pose a higher potential global health risk than the alternative Omicron.

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Viral properties of new emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, such as transmissibility, pathogenicity, resistance to vaccine- and antiviral-induced immunity – scientists wrote – It is an urgent global health concernExperts say that phyllodynamic analysis indicates that the BA.1 strain was tentative before the strains considered. Moreover, according to the data of scientists, all of the most worrisome strains associated with the B.1.1.529 lineage appear to have appeared in the county. Gauteng, South Africa. Projections indicate that the BA.2 outbreak could expand further worldwide.” It is necessary to accurately clarify the viral properties of BA.2 – add the authors – Omicron 2 is a subset of BA.1, as the current name suggests. , but its genomic sequence is very remote, As well as its viral properties. We have shown that BA.2 exhibits a higher reproductive rate, greater pathogenicity and better resistance to humoral immunity.” Experts who used hamster animal model, They determined that it would be necessary to assess the differences in immune responses elicited by the two variants in a human population. Our data – they concluded – It raises concern about naming BA.2 with a new letter of the Greek alphabet and considering it a worrisome variant in its own right. Our work indicates that BA.2 represents the most important variable for global health, so its spread should be carefully monitored.”

Valentina Di Paula

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