Omicron Subvariants Frank on the efficacy of vaccines and antibody therapy

Omicron is a highly transmissible variant of SARS-CoV-2 that has caused the largest increase in Covid cases to date in many countries.

The researchers identified three Omicron subvariables that share 21 mutations in the mutant protein and named them BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2.

The findings showed that in neutralization experiments, all three variants exhibited strong resistance to most of the monoclonal antibodies tested.

Of the 19 antibodies, 17 were ineffective against the BA.2 subvariable. The researchers found that bebtelovimab, the latest monoclonal antibody to receive an FDA Emergency Use Authorization, is the only antibody therapy available that can adequately treat all three Omicron subvariables.

“The emergence of new variants is narrowing our treatment options and challenging the effectiveness of our current vaccines.” David D. Ho, Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

“It’s important that we don’t relax prematurely and continue to devise new strategies to contain this growing pathogen.” he added.

In laboratory experiments, the team investigated the ability of 19 monoclonal antibodies and sera from individuals immunized with one of two available mRNA vaccines to neutralize three known accessory variables. know of Omicron.

The researchers observed a loss of neutralizing activity for BA.1.1 and BA.2 in blood samples from people who received two injections of mRNA.

However, the decrease in neutralization was less prominent in the blood samples of people who had received three injections of mRNA, reinforces the importance of booster shots to maintain immunity.

When Omicron was first identified in November 2021, the dominant variant was BA.1.

Since December, BA.1 cases have decreased, while BA1.1 cases have increased and now account for about 40% of all decoded Omicron cases globally. The subvariable BA.2 currently accounts for only 10% of all Omicron cases globally but is increasingly common.

Source: IANS

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