Infected with BA.1 Omicron variant? It won’t protect against newer subvariants: study – National

People infected with the earliest version of Omicron Variants of the coronavirus, first identified in South Africa in November, may be susceptible to reinfection with later versions of Omicron even if they have been vaccinated and boosted, new findings suggest.

Immunized patients with the Omicron BA.1 breakthrough infections have developed antibodies that can neutralize that virus plus the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, but circulating Omicron subtypes are currently have mutations that allow them to evade those antibodies, researchers from China reported Friday in the journal Nature.

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Omicron BA.2.12.1, which currently causes most infections in the United States, and Omicron BA.5 and BA.4, which now account for more than 21% of new cases in the United States, contain mutations that do not in BA.1 and the BA.2 version of Omicron.

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Those newer sublines “particularly evade neutralizing antibodies from SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination,” the researchers found in test-tube experiments.

Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody drugs bebtelovimab and cilgavimab, a component of AstraZeneca’s Evusheld, were still able to effectively neutralize BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5, the experiments also showed. .

The researchers warn that booster vaccines based on the BA.1 virus, such as those being developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, “may not achieve universal protection.” wide for new Omicron variants”.

Previous research that has not undergone peer review has suggested that unvaccinated people infected with Omicron are unlikely to develop immune responses that help protect them against other variants of the coronavirus.

Click to play video: '2 New Omicron sub-variants discovered as COVID-19 cases continue to decline globally: WHO'

2 New Omicron sub-variants discovered as COVID-19 cases continue to decline globally: WHO

2 newly discovered Omicron sub-variants as COVID-19 cases continue to decline globally: WHO – 4 May 2022

Onyema Ogbuagu and infectious diseases researcher at Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut, who were not involved in the new study.

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“Despite the avoidance of immunity, the expectation may be that a vaccine will still protect against serious illness,” says Ogbuagu. “If you’re due for a booster, buy a booster. What we have learned clinically is that it is most important to keep vaccines up to date” to maintain high levels of circulating COVID-19 antibodies in the blood.

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Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, a microbiologist and infectious diseases researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, thinks that better protection could be seen with vaccines that target Many strains of a virus or vaccine are administered through the nose to increase protection from infection and transmission by creating immunity in the lining of the nose, where the virus first enters.

Garcia-Sastre, who was not involved in the study, said by the time a variant-specific vaccine is available, a new variant may have already been adopted.

(Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Christine Soares and Alistair Bell)

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