Home » Health » The mystery is great.. How do the genetic characteristics of Omicron differ from previous Corona mutations?

The mystery is great.. How do the genetic characteristics of Omicron differ from previous Corona mutations?

Al-Arabiya channel published on its website a report under the title: “A great mystery .. How do the genetic characteristics of Omicron differ from previous Corona mutations?”, and it stated:

The genetic specifications of the Corona Omicron mutant showed that it is completely different from the specifications of the Delta mutant and all previous mutations, according to the South African health authorities, after examining the results of the preliminary studies they conducted on the new mutant.

The South African Genome Monitoring Network had presented a report to the Parliament’s Health Affairs Committee on these results, in which it stated that the first stage of studies focused on the speed of transmission of the mutant and its impact on the immune protection that arises from vaccines, and that it still needed more time to study and compare the data. To determine the parameters of what was confirmed as a fourth pandemic wave, its biological characteristics differ from the previous three waves in South Africa.

And the health authorities in South Africa informed the World Health Organization of these results, according to what was reported in the newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat.

“A high proportion of the population are either gen- erated with sufficient immunity from vaccines or are infected with the new mutant, and it is still very difficult at the present time to determine its evolutionary path and characteristics,” said Richard Lessels, an expert in communicable diseases and one of the studies supervisors.

He added that they do not know if the incubation period of the virus before the appearance of the first symptoms of the disease will remain within the five days that studies have monitored so far, but he stressed that they are sure that vaccines are the means that prevent the risk of infection and treatment in the hospital.

minor symptoms

In his presentation to Parliament, Lisels said: “It is not the number of mutations carried by the virus that is a concern, but rather where these mutations occur, many of which we have observed in the spinal protein, that is, in very sensitive sites that the virus uses to enter cells.”

He added that most of those infected with the new mutation outgrow the disease with mild symptoms, but it is still too early to determine the extent of the danger of Omicron, because it was only detected for a short period, and it is not excluded that more serious infections will appear in the coming days or weeks.

According to the report, prepared by the experts of the South African Genome Monitoring Network, the new mutant has become widespread throughout the country, and is ahead of Delta, which has been spreading very slowly in recent times.

One of the important findings of experts is that the PCR (polymer chain reaction) test is able to determine the identity of the mutant without resorting to the genetic sequence of the virus.

And the report stated: “When one of the three signs that appear in the tests is negative, and the other two are positive, the result remains positive, but it allows us to monitor a different situation than that appears with the delta mutant, and this allows tracking the new mutant directly without the need for genetic sequence that It takes two weeks in the lab.”

In the first comment on these preliminary results, WHO experts say that the effect of Omicron’s mutant on the biological behavior of the virus is the biggest mystery still surrounding the new mutant, which is known so far that it is faster than previous mutations, and that it prevents infections that need For treatment in the hospital, even though it affects the vaccinated in the full cycle, and increases the percentage of infections among those recovering from the disease.

As for the extent of its danger, experts say that it is too early to draw any conclusion, especially as it affects a high percentage of young people, aged between twenty and forty years, and they are the group that usually enjoys high immune protection to resist the virus.

infection immunity

It is noteworthy that the National Institute of Communicable Diseases in South Africa had reported that it had conducted 249 genetic sequences of the virus during the past month, and it was found that 183 of them are with the new mutant, and that the immunity generated by infection with Covid, whose period is unknown, does not provide protection from Omicron.

It should also be noted that the rate of vaccination coverage is still very low in major South African cities such as Pretoria and Johannesburg, especially among young people who are the main carrier of the new mutation, while the rate of increase in the number of new infections reached 20% per day during the past week.

According to WHO data, 26 countries have so far reported monitoring cases of the new mutation, but 62% of the confirmed global infections as of Friday (Friday) were in South Africa and Botswana.


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