sOnce the COVID-19 pandemic began, health officials warned that the biggest obstacle to controlling the virus would be its ability to mutate into ever more contagious and dangerous forms.
The latest version that rings alarms is an emerging variant of Omicron called Bachelor 2.75.2. It has already acquired the ability to evade the immunity provided by current vaccines and cannot be neutralized by many available antiviral drugs. So far, the pressure has been mentioned In 47 countries and in 39 US states, it still accounts for less than 1% of COVID-19 cases.
This is what we know so far about BA.2.75.2.
Where did BA.2.75.2 come from?
BA.2.75.2, as its name suggests, grew out of variant BA 2.75. It is growing rapidly, particularly in India – although BA.2.75.2 accounts for only 0.5% of cases so far worldwide. Since it shares many similarities with the current variant, World Health Organization BA.2.75.2 was not classified as a new variant but singled out as a “controlled Omicron sub-variable,” meaning that health officials must prioritize case tracking in order to prevent an increase in infection. Some experts have informally begun to call it Centaurus, after a This Twitter user gave this nickname.
Why BA.2.75.2 Concern Public Health Officials
BA.2.75.2 picked up three additional BA.2.75 mutations, two of which are where the virus binds to human cells in order to infect them.
According to one study By Swedish researchers published September 16 as a preliminary publication — meaning the research is not yet peer-reviewed — these BA.2.75.2 aberrations help evade all but one of the currently available and FDA-approved antibody therapies: bebtelovimab . Made by Lilly, this monoclonal antibody therapy is given as an intravenous infusion to people with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms who are at a higher risk of developing more serious illness. But because the drug only targets a specific part of the virus’s spike protein, there’s no guarantee that the virus won’t develop mutations to evade it either.
On September 7th in New England Journal of Medicineand Japanese scholars mentioned Slightly more encouraging results in their testing of BA 2.75 against the available treatments. They also found that bebtelovimab could neutralize the variant, and they also reported that some of the first antiviral treatments were developed — remdesivir and molnupiravir — in addition to the newer ones, BaxlovidIt also remains effective.
But resistance is a feature of BA.2.75.2, which is why health officials are concerned. The Swedish scientists also reported that antiviral antibody levels from blood donors, some of whom had been vaccinated or had recently been infected with SARS-CoV-2, were five times lower against BA 2.75.2 compared to the currently prevalent Omicron variant, BA 5. They also found that BA.2.75.2 was resistant to Evusheld antiviral combination therapy. The scientists concluded that this alternative “effectively evades the current.” [antibody] Immunity in the population “and” representation[s] The most resistant variant that has been characterized so far.”
How effective are vaccines against BA.2.75.2?
At the moment, the picture is incomplete. human studies of The latest COVID-19 booster shot– which targets two other sub-variants of Omicron, BA.4 and BA.5 – has not yet been finalized, and it is not clear how effective it is against BA.2.75.2 either. But there are hints from studies that included the original vaccine about what kind of protection people might expect if the alternative became more widespread.
David Montefori, a viral immunologist at Duke University Medical Center who is supervising the efficacy test of Moderna’s new RNA vaccine against the new variants, is now studying how blood samples from people immunized with the Moderna vaccine against BA.2.75.2 hold up. In previous studies against BA 2.75, results were encouraging. in message Posted in New England Journal of Medicine On September 9, he and his team reported that while levels of virus-fighting antibody against BA.2.75 were four times lower than levels against the original virus among people vaccinated with the Moderna dose, it remained effective. However, the three additional mutations of BA.2.75.2 “could make the virus less sensitive to neutralization,” he says, “but we have to test it and find out.” Results from those ongoing studies, funded by both Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, are expected to appear in October.
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