Omicron (B.1.1.529) Variant, SARS-CoV-2
The Technical Advisory Group on the Evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus (TAG-VE) is an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and reviews the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 Does the combination of specific variables and mutations change its behavior? ? Virus. TAG-VE was called on November 26, 2021 to review the SARS-CoV-2 variant: B.1.1.529.
Variant B.1.1.529, first found or reported to WHO from South Africa on dated: 24 November 2021. The epidemic situation in South Africa is marked by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest being the delta variant. In recent weeks there has been a sharp increase in infections, with the detection of variants of B.1.1.529. The first known confirmed infection for B.1.1.529 was from a sample submitted on November 9, 2021.
There are a number of variations on this category, some of which are related. Preliminary evidence indicates an increased risk of this type of reinfection compared to other VOCs. The number of such cases is increasing in almost every province in South Africa. Current SARS-CoV-2 PCR diagnostics continue to detect this type. Several laboratories have indicated that for a widely used PCR test, one of the three target genes could not be detected (called S gene dropout or S gene target failure) and that while this test can be used as a marker for this type, the sequence check remains to be done. With this approach, this type of infection has been detected at a faster rate than previous increases, suggesting that growth in this type may be beneficial.
Numerous studies are underway in this regard and TAG-VE will continue to conduct such reviews. WHO will share the new findings with member countries and the public as needed.
Based on the evidence presented indicating a harmful mutation in infectious diseases COVID-19, TAG-VE has informed WHO that the strain should be designated as VOC, and WHO has recommended that B.1.1.529 be designated as VOC , which is called Omicron.
Therefore, countries all over the world should adopt the following:
- Improve monitoring and sequencing efforts to better understand circulating variations of SARS-CoV-2.
- Submit the full genome sequencing & also related metadata to a publicly available database, for example GISAID.
- Report the first cases / groups of VOC infection to WHO through the IHR mechanism.
- Where potential exists and in coordination with the international community, understand the potential effects of VOCs in COD-19 epidemics, severity, effects on public health and social measures, diagnostic methods, immune response, Potential effects of VOCs on antibodies Conduct field investigations and improve laboratory inspections. Neutrality or other related characteristics.
People are reminded to take steps to reduce their risk of COVID-19, including public health and social measures such as wearing well-fitting masks, hand hygiene, physical distance, and improving indoor ventilation. Do, avoid crowded places and get vaccinated.
For reference, the WHO has working definitions for the variant of interest (VOI) and the variant of concern (VOC) of SARS-CoV-2.
SARS-CoV-2 VOI is a variant of SARS-CoV-2:
- With genetic mutations that are predicted or known to affect traits of the virus, such as transmission, severity of disease, immune escape, diagnosis, or treatment; AND
- Identified as a critical community transmission or multiple clusters of COVID-19, the relatively increasing prevalence of cases in various countries over time, or suggesting an emerging threat to global public health. Other apparent infectious effects.
SARS-CoV-2 VOC is a variant of SARS-CoV-2 that meets the definition of VOI (see above) and has been shown to be associated with one or more of the following changes through comparative evaluation. The importance of global public health:
- Increased transmission or harmful changes in COVID-19 epidemics; OR
- Increase in wireless supply or change in supply of medical diseases; OR
- Decreased effectiveness of social measures & public health or available diagnoses, vaccines & treatments