The first ‘image’ of an omicron shows much more spikes than a delta variant

The protein responsible for recognizing the “human receptor and virus entry into cells” was analyzed from “the sequence of this new variant that has contributed to the scientific community (…) from Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong” afp_tickers

This content was published on November 28, 2021 – 17:25

(AFP)

The omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes covid-19 shows much more mutations than the delta strain, according to its first “image”, created and published by the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome.

In this 3D ‘image,’ which is similar to mapping, ‘it is clear that the omicron variant presents many more mutations than the delta variant. [que presenta asimismo un gran número de mutaciones], is concentrated mainly in a region of a protein that interacts with human cells,” the team of researchers explained in a statement published on Sunday.

“This does not automatically mean that these differences are more serious, simply that the virus has adapted again to the human species, giving birth to another species,” the researchers said. Other studies will tell us whether this adaptation is neutral, less dangerous, or more dangerous.

The research team at the prestigious Bambino Gesù Foundation focused on looking for mutations at the level of the “three-dimensional structure of the spike protein,” explained to AFP Claudia Altieri, professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Milan and researcher at the aforementioned Roman Hospital.

This protein, which is part of the virus “which is being studied with the greatest interest”, is “responsible for the recognition of the human receptor and the entry of the virus into cells.” “In the boom in which monoclonal antibodies and, of course, vaccines work,” he stressed.

The image was created “from a study of the sequence of this new variant which has contributed to the scientific community” mainly from “Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong”.

“This image, which is a bit more of a map of all variants, describes omicron mutations but does not specify the role,” according to Claudia Altri.

“Going forward, it will be important to determine, through laboratory trials, whether the combination of these combinations could have an effect on the transmission or efficacy of vaccines, for example,” he said.

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