Humanity today moves as if coronavirus that appeared in 2019 no longer circulated on the planet. There are no lockdowns or travel restrictions. none are observed mass use of the mask Or cross-ventilation indoors. But exciter so farevolved and gave rise to new sub-lineages of the Ómicron variant.
From the second half of July to the first of August, more than 1.4 million new cases of COVID-19 reported worldwide. That is, there was 63% more than the previous 28 days.
These last two weeks World Health Organization (WHO) I had to update the Omicron subline classification system: it 7 in monitoring and 3 in the “interest” category. This was told by experts from the United States and Argentina. information What does the current state of the pandemic mean?
The last two added to the list have raised concerns among experts studying the evolution of the virus. One of them is EG.5, popularly called Eris, which was declared “of interest” and low risk. Already, the majority of COVID cases in the US are linked to Eris. It has been found in 52 countries including Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico.
But now subline BA.2.86 appeared, which in a few days became one of the monitoring options in circulation. for the health agency because it’s amazing that it has over 30 additional mutations compared to the first version of Ómicron.
It was discovered on July 24 in COVID patients in Israel. She was then identified on 31 July in Denmark. This week they found it in patients in the US and UK.
BA.2.86 is “the most amazing sub-variant the world has seen since the advent of Omicron,” the professor said. François Balloud Professor of Computing Biology and Director of the UCL Institute of Genetics in the UK.
The sequences uploaded by the sublines “demonstrate some genetic diversity, suggesting that the lineage has been circulating for several months,” he said. Worryingly, most of the new subvariant’s mutations occur in the Spike protein, and it may evade most of the antibodies generated by infection or vaccines.
A different view from a senior research fellow in immunology Coniset from Argentinadoctor George Geffner: “The number of mutations is amazing, and therefore it is good that I am doing global monitoring. But the data is still very preliminary. It remains to be seen how these BA.2.86 mutations affect their biological behavior. We are talking about its infectious ability, its transmissibility, its ability to evade the immune response and the severity of the disease it causes. We need more data,” he said in response to a question information.
Under the current circumstances, Dr. Geffner, Acting Director of the Institute for Biomedical Research on Retroviruses and AIDS (INBIRS) at Conisete and the University of Buenos Aires, explained that “although there is no public health emergency, people should still be aware that the infection continues to be diagnosed and the death rate continues, even in greater proportion than the death rate from the flu.” Over the past 28 days, as reported by WHO, 2,300 people have died worldwide from COVID.
“These new sub-lineages have the potential to evolve towards a new variant that is “before” and “after” in terms of our immunological memory. It can not only evade antibodies, but also T-cell memory response. This latter response is one that mediates protection against severe conditions,” he noted. “Therefore, it would be alarming if the virus managed to effectively evade the T-response. It is very difficult to predict,” he added.
As a measure, Geffner pushed for increased genomic surveillance of the coronavirus. “We should not give up on watching the circulating sub-options. Although serious illnesses and deaths have decreased compared to previous years due to vaccination, today at this stage of the pandemic some important hospitals should be tested to find out what percentage of respiratory symptoms are due to the coronavirus.” Geffner noted.
In addition, he advised, “communities should do more monitoring of wastewater to track the coronavirus, which has already given us unpleasant surprises. The coronavirus needs to continue to be scrutinized around the world.”
Meanwhile the doctor Umberto Debatebelonging National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) and country project of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, it is believed that the WHO Panel on Virus Evolution currently considers Omicron sublineages in terms of three factors. There are currently discussions about the monitoring option and the option of interest.
As for the discovery of the BA.2.86 subline, “it’s very relevant,” Debat said. “It has an additional 58 mutations in the Spike protein compared to the original virus from Wuhan, China. It comes from subline BA.2. Some of these mutations will give it a greater ability to evade immunity than other versions of the virus. But it is impossible to know a priori whether it is more contagious. There is a buzz in the evolutionary community. Let’s see what the results of the next studies will be, ”he said.
The risks of sublineage BA.2.86 are that “its mutations give it a transmission advantage due to the ability to evade immunity and this leads to more human cases of COVID-19. There is also a risk that this subline is sufficiently different from booster vaccines to compromise their effectiveness,” he said in a dialogue with information doctor amesh adalyaCenter for Health Security Principal Investigator and Associate Professor Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in the USA.
According to Adelia, the population should take revaccination into account: “New variants will continue to appear because this is an endemic virus that will not be eradicated. The main thing today is to remember that variants can cause infection, but not cause serious upheavals in society, due to the immunity of the population, as well as the availability of antiviral therapy.”
So far, in terms of vaccines, Moderna has reported that its 2023 updated COVID vaccine showed a significant increase in neutralizing antibodies against EG.5 and FL.1.5.1 variants. The results of studies of subline BA.2.86 have not yet been disseminated.