Scientific studies have been on the rise since the end of 2021 to confirm that the omigran variant of SARS-Cowie-2 causes less severe disease than delta. This research also provides clues to understand why this strain affects the lungs less.
Study after study confirms the notion of being scientists Omigron variant Causes less severe Covit-19 patterns than delta strain. Since December 23, there have even been four releases in the same direction: a higher spread of the virus, but less dangerous than the delta.
Researchers at the University of Liverpool concluded in an article Released December 26th, Mice affected by the Omigran variant lost less weight and had less severe pneumonia than mice with other Sars-CoV-2 mutations.
Golden hamsters, used by scientists at the University of Leuven (Belgium), had a similar reaction to rodents in Liverpool. Also released on December 26th Another test to assess the risk of variance detected in November 2021.
Stay away from the lower respiratory tract
The works of American researchers were submitted to the journal Nature and Science a few days before the end of the year That the Guardian was able to advise Ensure that rats contaminated by the Omigron variant have severe forms of Govit-19. Finally, British data at the end of December underscore “the risk of hospitalization for a person with the Omicron variant is between 50% and 70%,” underlined Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading in France. 24.
“So from an epidemiological point of view, we can say that this is a less serious variation than before,” concludes Bjன்rn Meyers, a virologist at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Macbeth, affiliated with France 24. “No. The number of cases admitted to the hospital appears to be low, but those admitted are short-lived and have mild symptoms,” said Lawrence Young, a virologist and professor of molecular oncology at Warwick Medical School, affiliated with France 24.
New scientific studies suggest that this apparent low severity of Omicron may be related to how the virus affects cells in the human body. “He uses the same door to enter the cell, but without using the same key,” Lawrence Young says metaphorically.
Omigron still adheres to the cell with its famous spike protein, but many mutations in this area of the virus like to multiply in the nose, throat and trachea without going to the lungs as before. Strains of Sars-CoV-2.
This essential distinction allows them to be more resistant to vaccines, while at the same time being less dangerous, because “in all respiratory diseases, when the lower respiratory tract, such as the lungs, is at greater risk to health. This is what happens to agents H5N1 stays in the respiratory tract under bird fluSays Ian Jones of the University of Reading.
The beginning of the endemic phase?
Perhaps that is why we deal with a virus that causes less severe forms of the disease because of the high concentration of the virus in the nose and throat. Contacted by France24, a virologist and researcher at the Francis Creek Institute in London.
But according to this expert, one should not overestimate the fall in the risk of omigran. “We see it multiplying more easily and rapidly in the upper respiratory tract than in previous strains, and the rate of pathogens reaching the lungs is always high. This is where the vaccine is important because it controls the risk of contracting severe forms of Covit-19,” the expert notes.
“While it is true that it is‘ tougher ’than the delta variant, Omigron seems to be more dangerous than the alpha variant. [dominant dans une partie de l’Europe à la fin de 2020, NDLR] He’s a direct descendant, ”said Bjன்rn Meyer, a virologist at the University of Magdeburg.
So there are two ways to look at Omicron. On the one hand, it is a more intense form than its ancestor Alpha, but on the other hand, it appears to be far more harmless than the globally modifying Delta variant. And from a health perspective, this last aspect is important to Ian Jones because “it was through this variation that we entered the local phase of the epidemic. [c’est-à-dire que la maladie s’enracine, mais dans des formes plus anodines pour la santé, NDLR]. “
Jonathan Stoy, head of research at the Francis Creek Institute in London, said: “However, this is consistent with what we know about the history of the corona virus. Some precedents – etc Russian flu epidemic of 1889 – These viruses start to decline after about two years.
Here again, “It makes sense from an evolutionary point of view, because variations in practice are more contagious, that is, in the upper respiratory tract, which is generally less dangerous. Healthy”, Ian Jones concludes.
Meanwhile, Omicron’s meteor shower is putting great pressure on the health system. This is because, although the variant is less malignant, hospitals “need to manage a strong attendance daily. [du personnel soignant] Combined with the rapid improvement of pollution with the advent of Omigron, France 24 explains Gilles Pialoux, Head of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at Tenon Hospital (AP-HP).
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