Researchers from Hong Kong reported that the effects of Omicron can be predicted if the major differences between its multiplication and that of other variants are studied carefully. After extensive research in this respective area, they’ve now come to know that Omicron multiplies 70 times faster in the air passages as compared to the Delta variant. However, its rate of multiplication in the lungs is 10 times slower as compared to the original SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, it can be expected to cause much less-severe illness.
The researchers also noted that the severity of the disease does not only depend on the replication of the virus. It is also a result of the individual’s immune response to the infection. When a virus infects many more people, it may cause severe diseases and deaths even if it is less pathogenic. Similarly, the Omicron variant partially escapes immunity from previous infections and vaccination and can infect many people at a time. Therefore, its overall threat is likely to be very significant.
A structural model has also been designed by the researchers to represent how Omicron attaches to cells and antibodies. According to it, Omicron grips cells tightly and bears antibodies strongly. The spike protein on the surface of the variant interacts with the ACE-2 cell-surface protein and grabs it tightly to enter the host cells.
All these findings have been revealed in a news release and a formal report is under peer review. For further details, visit the following link at Reuters; https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/omicron-thrives-airways-not-lungs-new-data-asymptomatic-cases-2021-12-15/
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