A Study Suggests The Omicron Variant Could Displace The Delta Variant

A Study Suggests The Omicron Variant Could Displace The Delta Variant
Source – CNET

The research only included a limited number of participants. It was not peer-reviewed, but it discovered that individuals infected with the Omicron variant, mainly those vaccinated, gained improved immunity to the Delta variant.


A Study Suggests The Omicron Variant Could Displace The Delta Variant

According to South African researchers, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus might replace the Delta variant because infection with the new variant enhances immunity against the older one.

The research only included a limited number of participants. It was not peer-reviewed, but it discovered that individuals infected with the Omicron variant, mainly those vaccinated, gained improved immunity to the Delta variant.

The study included 33 vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals infected with the Omicron variant in South Africa.

While the scientists discovered that neutralisation of Omicron surged 14-fold in the 14 days after the enrollment, they also found that neutralisation of the Delta variation increased 4.4-fold.

The increase in Delta variant neutralization in individuals infected with Omicron may result in a decreased ability of Delta to re-infect those individuals," the scientists who conducted the study said.

The results of the study are consistent with Omicron displacing the Delta variant since it can elicit immunity which neutralizes Delta making re-infection with Delta less likely," they said. 

[https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.198.70/1mx.c5c.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/MEDRXIV-2021-268439v1-Sigal.pdf]

The consequences of this shift, according to the scientists, would depend on whether or not Omicron is less deadly than Delta. “If so, then the incidence of COVID-19 severe disease would be reduced, and the infection may shift to become less disruptive to individuals and society.

On Monday, Alex Sigal, a professor at South Africa’s Africa Health Research Institute, stated on Twitter that if Omicron was less harmful, as it seemed to be from the South African experience, “this will help push Delta out“.

According to earlier South African research, those infected with Omicron had a lower chance of hospitalisation and severe illness than those infected with the Delta variant. The authors speculate that part of this is due to solid community immunity.

The Omicron variant, discovered in November in southern Africa and Hong Kong, has now spread internationally, threatening to overrun hospitals in several countries.

Source – Reuters

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