According to a Lancet investigation, a new Omicron subvariant generally evades neutralising antibodies

According to a study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, the Omicron BA.2.75.2 variant largely evades neutralising antibodies in the blood and is resistant to numerous COVID-19 antibody therapy. If the population’s immunity isn’t strengthened by the new updated bivalent vaccines, there may be a chance of more SARS-CoV-2 cases this winter, according to research from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet.

According to the study’s corresponding author Ben Murrell, an assistant professor at Karolinska Institutet, “while antibody immunity is not completely gone, BA.2.75.2 exhibited far more dramatic resistance than variants we’ve previously studied, driven largely by two mutations in the receptor binding domain of the spike protein.” The spike protein is used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to enter and infect human cells.

According to the study, antibodies in serum samples taken randomly from 75 blood donors in Stockholm, Sweden, were only about one-sixth as efficient at neutralising BA.2.75.2 as the currently prevalent version BA.5. The serum samples were taken at three different times: in November of last year, before the development of Omicron, in April, following a significant wave of infections, and in late August or early September, following the dominance of the BA.5 variety.

The researchers found that only bebtelovimab, one of the tested clinically available monoclonal antibodies, was capable of effectively neutralising the novel variation. For those at high risk of acquiring severe viral infections, monoclonal antibodies are utilised as antiviral therapy. COVID-19. Another Omicron variety, BA.2.75, has undergone mutation to become BA.2.75.2. Although it has spread to several nations since it was initially found earlier this year, it still only makes up a small portion of cases that have been officially reported.

According to Murrell, “we now know that this is simply one of a constellation of new variations with comparable alterations that will probably come to dominate in the near future.” He also added, “we should expect infections to increase this winter.” The researchers did point out that it is not yet obvious if these new variations will result in a rise in hospitalisation rates. There is currently no data demonstrating the extent to which the upgraded COVID vaccines offer protection from these novel variants, they claimed, despite the fact that current vaccines have, in general, shown a protective impact against severe sickness for Omicron infections. Murrell continued, “We anticipate them to be advantageous, but we do not yet know to what extent.

(source : PTI)

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