A team of researchers with members from the Gladstone Institute and Curative Inc. have discovered new characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant that may explain why it spreads more quickly than other variants of the virus. In their study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesthe team used virus-like particles (VLPs) to study the combination and ability to eliminate omicron diversity.
As epidemic continues, scientists have discovered that, as expected, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has changed into many variants. Previous research has shown that some variants make people more susceptible to disease than others and that some variants are more infectious – infecting people more easily, which allows more people to be infected. they get infected in a short time. One such the difference, omicronwas found to be particularly contagious, and in this new effort the researchers aimed to find out why.
To learn more about the unique features of the omicron variant, the researchers studied VLPs instead of the virus itself due to safety concerns. In their study, they investigated the characteristics of four VLP types of the four known SARS-CoV-2 variants: omicron, delta, B.1.1 and B.1. All were tested against antisera samples obtained from infected patients. They found that antisera from patients was about 15 times less effective against omicron like B.1, the original type, although the neutralizing effect of both vaccines was increased. And in a closer look at the N mutation that makes omicron different from other strains, the researchers found it allowed the virus to enter cells more easily and gave it a fourfold increase in mass. and a half. They suggest that the omicron is more proliferative for several reasons – its better aggregation, its cell penetration efficiency and its anti-absorption ability.
The researchers also evaluated the effectiveness of four types of antibiotics used to treat infected patients, and found that only one worked well against omicron-bebtelovimab.
Abdullah M. Syed et al, Omicron mutation enhances infectivity and reduces viral clearance of SARS-CoV-2 viruses, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2200592119
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