The omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is currently the most dominant worldwide. It is a mutation that worries health experts and has forced restrictions to be intensified in some parts of the world.
Now, scientists have detected a subvariant of omicron, it is the BA.2 lineage, which has been detected in some countries such as Denmark and the United Kingdom.
According to a group of Japanese researchers, BA.2 now outperforms BA.1, the earliest known subvariant of omicron.
In fact, research on neutralization shows that the pathogen evades the immunity of the vaccine, as occurs with omicron.
According to work by the University of Tokyo Institute of Medical Sciences, BA.2 has a higher viral load in nasal epithelial cells.
Thus, and after the tests carried out with hamsters, the scientists found that BA.2 would be a more contagious disease than omicron, so they warn that it could become a threat due to its transmissibility and infectivity.
faster and deadlier
In addition to spreading faster, researchers believe it can cause more severe illness.
According to the study published in BioRxivthe BA.2 subvariant may have characteristics that make it capable of causing serious illness just like the first variants of the coronavirus.
“Neutralization experiments show that vaccine-induced humoral immunity does not work against BA.2 like BA.1,” the study authors state.
“BA.2 has begun to outperform BA.1, suggesting that it is more transmissible than the original omicron. Although BA.2 is considered an omicron variant, its genomic sequence is very different from BA.1, suggesting that the virological characteristics of BA.2 are different from those of BA.1”.
These data contradict information published last week by the WHO, which indicates that although BA.2 is more transmissible, it cannot yet be classified as a more serious subvariant.