The speed of the new omicron the subvariant caused concern in the IndiaThe United States and elsewhere, as scientists fear that a new mutation may bypass immunity from vaccines and previous infections.
However, it is unclear whether this subvariant, called BA.2.75, can cause more serious disease than other omicron variants, including the globally known BA.5.
“It’s too early for us to draw too many conclusions,” said Matthew Biniker, director of the Division of Clinical Virology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “But it seems, especially in India, the transmission speed is showing exponential growth.”
It is yet to be determined whether it will outperform the BA.5 competition, he added.
The fact that the variant was found in parts of the world with lower virus surveillance “is an early sign that it’s spreading quickly,” warns Shishi Lu, head of infectious diseases at Helix, a company that supplies sequence information. viruses of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The latest mutation of Covid-19 has been seen in several different states in India and appears to be spreading faster than other variants, said Lippi Thukral, a scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Institute of Genomic and Integrative Biology.
So far, it has been reported in several states in India, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and the national capital, Delhi.
It has also been detected in 10 other countries, including the US, Australia, Germany, the UK and Canada.
Some of the mutations in the new variant are related to the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein, he said World Health OrganizationPrincipal Research Fellow Dr. Soumya Swaminathan.
“Since this is the key part of the virus that has attached itself to the human receptor, we have to monitor its behavior. But it is too early to say whether the subvariant has additional immune invasion properties or is clinically more serious,” she said. Times of India.
Scientists working with the Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (Insacog), a genomic surveillance agency under India’s health ministry, said people infected with BA.2.75 were either asymptomatic or mild. Corona virus infection covidadding that they have not yet observed any subvariant infection clusters.
Researchers say vaccines and boosters are the best protection against infection.
“Someone might say, ‘Well, vaccination and boosting didn’t prevent people from getting infected.’ And, yes, that’s true,” said Dr. Binniker.
“But what we are seeing is that the rate of people going to hospital and dying has gone down significantly. As more people have been vaccinated, inoculated, or naturally infected, we are beginning to see background levels of immunity rising worldwide.”
Additional agency reporting