According to a first “picture” of this new Covid variant discovered in South Africa and generated and published by the prominent Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome, the new Covid variant Omicron has far more mutations than the Delta version.
According to the researchers, “we can plainly see that the Omicron version shows many more mutations than the Delta variant, concentrated above all in one area of the protein that interacts with human cells” on the three-dimensional “picture,” which appears like a map.
“This does not necessarily imply that these variants are more harmful; it just means that the virus has adapted to the human species by developing a new variety,” the researchers explained.
“Further research will determine if this adaptation is neutral, less harmful, or riskier,” they noted.
Claudia Alteri, a professor of clinical microbiology at Milan State University and a researcher at Bambino Gesu, told AFP that the research team concentrated on looking for changes in “the three-dimensional structure of the spike protein.”
The image was created “based on a review of the sequences of this novel variety that have been made accessible to the scientific community,” with the majority of the sequences coming from Botswana, South Africa, and Hong Kong.
“This figure, which provides a map of all the differences,” she explained, “describes Omicron’s mutations but does not identify its job.”
“It will now be critical to determine whether the combination of these changes can have an impact on transmission or the efficiency of immunizations, for example,” she continued.
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