Omicron is more worrying than expected because of never-before-seen mutation

A week after South Africa reported the discovery of the new Omicron variant and the lack of information about its dangerousness, a study concluded that this variant has a good chance of being the most widespread in the world, after it was originally Affects a co. -infected patients thanks to an insertional mutation never observed in other variants.

The study by researchers from the company “Neference”, which specializes in data analysis based in the United States, confirms the World Health Organization’s (WHO) forecast that there is a “high” “probability that ‘Omicron is spreading globally “.

“We compared the mutations of Omicron in chronic variants of concern (alpha, beta, gamma, delta), variants of interest (lambda, mu, eta, iota and kappa) and 5.4 million SARS-CoV lines from all 1523 SARS-CoV lines. -2 genome”, the researchers confirmed.

And to point out that Omicron’s spike protein (which has been grafted to human cells in the organism, editor’s note) has 26 amino acid mutations (23 substitutions, two deletions and one insertion) “which is different from other types.” The concern “insertion mutation (ins214EPE)” has not previously been observed in any SARS-CoV-2 line other than Omicron.

At this stage, the new variant, discovered by South Africa with the help of Botswana, has been identified in 38 countries, affecting all continents, within a week’s time and their numbers continue to increase.

According to the study, it is quite possible that the type of coronavirus is most responding as it has carried genetic material from another virus, HCoV-229E, which causes the common cold.

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Indeed, scientists who sequenced the virus’s mRNA (its genetic code, editors note) found that it contained the genetic sequence of the virus that causes the common cold in humans. Thus, the researchers believe that it is possible that Omicron may have developed in a patient already infected with two viruses (the common cold and the coronavirus), and that people affected by the Omicron variant are likely to be affected by the virus as well. . same time.

Sequencing data shows “Co-expression of SARS-CoV-2 and HCOV-229E inhibiting entry receptors (…) in respiratory and gastrointestinal cells.”

At a time when many unknowns surround the Omicron virus, notably its severity, its effects on health, its symptoms, its infectivity, as well as its resistance to existing vaccines, the researchers estimate that Omicron, “more permeable”. “It has also been studied in comparison to other variants, but less dangerous than the previous version.

But in the face of the complexity of this new variant, especially because of its many mutations and data that are still unclear, scientists are concerned about its seriousness.

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