According to experts, the new options will keep COVID-19 infection at a high level throughout the summer

Although the United States is battling the latest wave of COVID-19, new research suggests that horizon options may keep disease rates high. Subsequent outbreaks of infection are likely to result from new omicronic BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. According to the GISAID gene-sharing website, the two closely related viruses were first identified later in South Africa and entered the United States around March. These variants are prevalent against BA.2, especially in the central part of the country. Recent studies show that they are immune to vaccines and previous infections. According to the latest updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the genomic company Helix, BA.4 and BA.5 together accounted for 6%. At the end of May, 7% of new infections in the United States. “It’s a serious threat,” the doctor said. David Ho, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University in New York, wrote in an email. “A month ago, it was .02 percent.” BA.4 was identified in at least 30 countries, and BA.5 was selected in 32 countries, according to the Outbreak.info website, supported by Scripps. Research Institute.Ho and co-authors tested antibodies from the blood of vaccinated and amplified humans, as well as antibodies from people who had recently recovered from COVID-19 infection, engineering BA.4 and BA.5 viruses. laboratory. In each case, they found a decrease in potency against BA.4 and BA.5. They found that people who were vaccinated and amplified by BA.4 and BA.5 viruses were four times more likely to avoid antibodies. With BA.2 viruses. More new infections All of this means that BA.4 and BA.5 can lead to new infections, even in people who have previously had COVID-19. Without updated vaccines or boosters, many Americans will get sick in the coming weeks or months. “I think we see a lot of infections, but there doesn’t have to be a more serious illness or death,” he said. Ho’s study was published as a preliminary publication, so it was not reviewed by outside experts or published in a medical journal. South Africa has seen an increase in infections ahead of the U.S. in the BA.4 / BA.5 cycle, but has not seen a corresponding increase in deaths, said Shishi Luo, Helix’s deputy director of bioinformatics and infectious diseases. Extrapolating from South Africa, the U.S. increases BA.4 and BA.5 because it has some competitive advantages over current strains, but the fingers are crossed, which doesn’t make it any harder. A hunter’s variant is BA.4 and BA.5 BA.2.12. 1, a highly contagious strain, currently the main cause of COVID-19 infection in the United States, has raised the question of whether these branches of the omicron family tree can be famous. At the same time; BA.2.12.1 BA.4 and BA.5 in South Africa They quickly conquered the United States when they were formed. They share some similarities, including changes in the location of the genome 452, variants that have a genetic address, which help us avoid immunity. “It’s like boxing,” Dr. said, as the viruses fight each other. Alex Greninger, Assistant Director, Clinical Virology Laboratory, University of Washington. “It’s like the national champion of South Africa is facing the national champion of the United States.” If they’ve never fought, you don’t know how to rank them, ”he says. less than a day for BA.4 and BA.5, indicating that the viruses are spreading faster. Double time is included in the latest technical report from the UK Health Agency. BA.2.12.1 can produce, ”Greninger said. Ho and his team think they understand what an additional advantage it is giving BA.4 and BA.5. It also helps with all the changes in other omicron options. they rejected our vaccines, and these viruses removed the F486V mutation. In the past, it had a downside: the virus’s spokes could not communicate with our cells, so they could not compete. However, BA.4 and BA.5 have an additional mutation called R493Q, which restores their ability to communicate with cells and restores their ability to infect us. BA.4 and BA.5 seem to be able to beat BA.2.12.1, but they have not competed in the US and the validity of these strains depends largely on the playing field. Options do not follow the rule. But in the next few months, experts say there will be more COVID-19 around. “In the summer and winter, I expect these viruses to disappear. There are relatively high levels,” Greninger said. “It’s just that the number of cases, the disruption of the workforce, is a huge, high burden of the disease.”

Despite the fact that the United States is struggling with the latest wave of COVID-19, new research suggests that horizontal options may keep activity levels high.

The next influx of infections is likely to be caused by new omicron subvariants of the closely related viruses BA.4 and BA.5, which were first described in South Africa and arrived in the United States in late March, according to a gene-sharing site. GISAID

These options are widespread against BA.2, especially in the central part of the country. Recent studies show that they are immune to vaccines and previous infections.

According to the latest updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the genomic company Helix, BA.4 and BA.5 together accounted for approximately 6% to 7% of new infections in the U.S. at the end of May.

“This is a serious threat,” Dr. David Ho, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University in New York, wrote in an email. – A month ago, it was .02 percent.

According to the Outbreak.info website conducted by the Scripps Research Institute, BA.4 was selected in at least 30 countries, and BA.5 in 32 countries.

Ho and his authors recently tested antibodies in the blood of vaccinated and amplified humans, as well as antibodies from people who recovered from COVID-19 infection, in the laboratory against engineering BA.4 and BA.5 viruses. In each case, they found a decrease in potency against BA.4 and BA.5.

They found that BA.4 and BA.5 viruses were four times more likely to escape antibodies in vaccinated and amplified people than in BA.2 viruses.

More infections

All this means that BA.4 and BA.5 can lead to rapid infections, even in people with previous COVID-19.

Without modernized vaccines or boosters, Ho expects many Americans to become ill in the coming weeks or months. “I think we see a lot of infections, but there doesn’t have to be a more serious illness or death,” he said.

Hod’s study was published as a preliminary publication, so it was not reviewed by outside experts or published in a medical journal.

In the BA.4 / BA.5 cycle, the number of infections has increased in South Africa ahead of the U.S., but the number of deaths has not, said Shishi Luo, Helix’s deputy director for bioinformatics and infectious diseases.

“So I think if we extrapolate from South Africa, we think BA.4 and BA.5 will increase in the U.S. because it has some competitive advantages over current strains, but cross-fingering it doesn’t happen. It will lead to more serious consequences,” Luo said. .

One question of options: BA.4 and BA.5 Can BA.2.12.1 pass through a highly contagious strain that is currently the leading cause of COVID-19 infection in the United States?

These branches of the Omicron family tree became famous at about the same time; BA.2.12.1 quickly invaded the United States, and BA.4 and BA.5 were being established in South Africa.

They share some similarities, including changes in the location of the genome 452, variants with a genetic address that help us avoid immunity.

Viruses are square

“It’s like boxing,” the doctor said. Alex Greninger, Assistant Director, Clinical Virology Laboratory, University of Washington. “It’s like the South African national champion will face the national champion in the United States.

“If they don’t fight, you don’t know how to rank them,” he says.

However, compared to BA.4 and BA.5 in other parts of the world, such as BA.2.12.1 in the UK, the researchers found that the time it took for the variant infection to double was about 5½ days. For BA.2.12.1, and less than a day for BA.4 and BA.5, this indicates that the viruses are spreading faster. The double time was included in the latest technical report from the UK Health Safety Agency.

“Now bookmakers are showing that they can produce favorites BA.4 and BA.5 BA.2.12.1,” Greninger said.

Ho and his team think they understand what an additional advantage it is giving BA.4 and BA.5.

In addition to all the changes in other omicron variants that helped us reject our vaccines, these viruses removed the F486V mutation. This is a big change that helps to hide them from our immune system. In the past, it had a downside: it could not bind the peak of the virus to our cells, so they could not compete. However, BA.4 and BA.5 have an additional mutation called R493Q, which restores their ability to communicate with cells and their ability to infect us.

Although BA.4 and BA.5 seem to beat BA.2.12.1, they are unparalleled in the United States and the validity of these strains depends largely on the playing field. Options do not follow the rule.

But in the next few months, experts say, there will be more COVID-19 around.

“In the summer and winter, I expect these viruses to be at relatively high levels,” Greninger said. “It’s just that the number of cases, the disruption of the workforce, is a huge, high burden of the disease.”

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