COVID-19 | Reality about EG.5 by Maurizio Cavani | Opinion

The EG.5 variant of SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the following branches: Omicron, has been positioning itself as the dominant variant in the world.After the General Administration issued an announcement WHO, EG.5 received the designation of “variant of interest”.This means that in the context of the epidemic Coronavirus diseasewith no significant changes in transmissibility or immune evasion.

Is there any need to panic? Not really. Looking at the progression of this variant numerically, no significant statistical changes are seen, which is why we continue to be at the lowest point in daily infections and deaths. But in terms of the evolution of the virus itself, there are some related issues worth commenting on.

For people who have been vaccinated accordingly (preferably a bivalent vaccine), concerns about the emergence of new variants should be minimal. If you don’t have them, things are already very different. Apparently, the virus has been weakened by so many mutations that natural immunity is now able to fight it, just like the common cold virus. I’m not saying we shouldn’t worry, because while this could be the virus itself trending toward extinction, it could also be due to a long-term adaptation process.

Regarding the structural function of the “spike” protein, the protein that allows pathogens to enter our cells, the virus has taken a few steps back, modifying its structure with minor mutations that are few or unimportant. Heritability, which in biological terms refers to affinity for host receptor proteins, has been measured for various subvariants of the clade. Omicron‘resulting in a non-significant difference.Evolutionarily speaking, there is no longer speciation (a single lineage is said to split into two or more due to changes in genetic material), but linear evolution on the same branch of the tree, which is Omicron.

Likewise, in terms of evading the immune system, the new mutations do not reduce humoral responses (via antibodies) or cellular responses (especially white blood cells).Therefore, the new generation of bivalent vaccines contains the base sequence of the “spike” protein of the first discovered SARS-CoV-2 variant and the first variant of the “clade” Omicron‘ (i.e., opens up the entire range of subvariants known today, such as BA.2, BA.3, BA.4, BA.5, XBB.1, etc.), is valid and produces facing Immunity required for mild and moderate illness and 100% protection against severe illness.

Now, what should we do? The vaccination campaign is underway; however, the response from the global population has been lukewarm due to the information released by the agency. WHO On the end of the global emergency. Our country, and the world at large, has not stopped vaccinations, and designated laboratories have not stopped genomic surveillance. All of these efforts are aimed at preventing an increase in cases of mild and moderate disease, not because we are waiting for the arrival of a potential variant that will once again make health systems tremble. My advice is don’t let your guard down and get everyone vaccinated. When you get vaccinated, you protect yourself and others.

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