Covid and Omicron Variants: Information From Gamma, Iota and Mu

In early 2021, scientists in Colombia discovered a new strain of coronavirus. This mutation, finally called Mu, has a number of mutations that experts believe can help it escape the immune system.

In the following months, Mu spread rapidly in Colombia, leading to an increase in the Covid-19 spread. By the end of August, it had been seen in many countries, and the World Health Organization had chosen it as “the difference of interest.”

“Mu is starting to make a lot of noise around the world,” said Joseph Fauver, a clinical pathologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and author of a recent study on the difference.

And then it fizzled. Today, the variant has all but gone.

For every Delta or Omicron there is a Gamma, Iota or Mu, the difference which leads to a local rise but has not failed to dominate the world. And while understanding Omicron is still essential to public health, there are tips that need to be learned from these tiny insects, experts say.

Joel Wertheim, a clinical pathologist at the University of California, San Diego, said: The past will help us plan for what he can do in the future. “

Studies of the still-rans have shed light on the possibility of examining inconsistencies and illegality – further proving that US travel restrictions are ineffective – and of the causes of the disease, indicating that in the early stages of the disease, infection is more important. beyond immunity.

The research also reveals the importance of key points; The variants that cause interference in some places never get a foothold in others. Therefore, predicting which mutations will rise to management is difficult, and at the top of these mutations and future diseases will need to be closely monitored. as time.

“We can benefit a lot from looking at genomic diseases and saying, ‘This may be worse than others,'” Dr. Wertheim said. “But the only way to really know is to watch it spread, because there are so many dangerous things that have not been handled.”

Coronaviruses are constantly evolving, and most new mutations are never seen or named. But others raise the alarm, either because they pass quickly or because their genomes seem bad.

Both are true of Mu as it spread in Colombia. “There have been a few changes that people have been watching very closely,” said Mary Petrone, a pathologist at the University of Sydney and author of the new Mu. Many mutations in its virulence have been documented in other immune systems, including Beta and Gamma.

In a new study, which has not yet been published in a scientific journal, scientists compared Mu toxic characteristics to Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma and primary disease. . Mu did not react faster than the other variants, they found, but it was the most immune system of the group – more resistant to the immune system than the odd ones like Omicron, Dr. . Fauver said.

By analyzing the genomic sequences of Mu models collected from around the world, scientists have been able to reconstruct the differences in transmission. They concluded that Mu would appear in South America by mid-2020. He would travel around six months before he was diagnosed.

Genomic analysis in many parts of South America is “flowerless and incomplete,” said Jesse Bloom, a pathologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. “If there were better surveys in those areas, it might be easier to do a faster assessment of Mu concerns.”

Mu presented another challenge, too. It occurs with a type of mutation, called frameshift mutation, that is rare in coronavirus diagnostics. These changes were considered flawed when scientists, including Drs. Fauver, try to send their Mu regularly to GISAID, the global repository of virus genomes used to store tabs on updates.

The issue then created a delay for public sharing of Mu sequences. The elapsed time of diagnosis was recorded by the patient and when it was reported to the public the GISAID was longer for Mu patients than for Delta patients, the researchers found.

Dr. “The genome itself is the starting point for developing differentiated experiments,” Fauver said. “It makes, at least in our experience, in that we do not get the data out for weeks when we normally try to keep it out of the day.”

(GISAID performance management procedures are essential, scientists have mentioned, and the repository has addressed the issue.)

Combining these gaps with Mu’s defense and the difference seems to go away. But that is not the case. Instead, Mu radiated from South and Central America to other countries but did not expand when it reached that point, scientists found. “That shows that this difference does not fit into the North American and European population as we would expect,” Dr. Petrone said.

That’s how Mu finds himself competing with a bigger difference: Delta. Delta is not as skilled at dodging antibodies as Mu, but it is more contagious. “So, in the end, the Delta has expanded a lot,” he said. Bloom said.

Successful learning variants tell only half of the story. Dr. “Variants that do not become mainstream are, by the way, poor management,” Petrone said. Petrone said. “They tell us that failure, and, in turn, helps to bring about a sense of belonging through a variety of differences.”

Delta has passed several anti-virus applications in addition to Mu, including Beta, Gamma and Lambda. These models suggest that immune protection alone is not enough to allow the virus to differentiate against highly contagious diseases – or at least it is not in the early stages of transmission, when at least the person is protected.

But vaccination and the many waves of infection have changed the immune system. An anti-inflammatory drug should now be available more on the edge, scientists say, which is part of why Omicron has succeeded so well.

Other recent studies have shown that in New York City immune systems Gamma prefers to perform better in communities with higher levels of immunity than in the past, sometimes because they seriously injured in the first Covid wave. Dr. Wertheim, who authored the study, said: “We can not see the new changes in the vacuum, because it comes in the shadow of all the differences that have come before.”

Indeed, the clash of differences in the past suggests that success depends on the context. For example, New York City may be the birthplace of the Iota variant, which was first detected in a virus model that was written in November 2020. “And so it has had an early impact. , “Dr. Petrone said. Even after the greater Alpha difference arrived, Iota remained in the city difference for several months, before it disappeared.

But in Connecticut, where Iota and Alpha both appeared in January 2021, everything unfolded differently. Dr. Petrone, who led the study on the differences in the two regions, said that “Alpha was the only thing that came out immediately, and Iota did not have time,”

A similar model has already started playing with Omicron multi-line devices. In the United States, BA.2.12.1, the first subvariant seen in New York, has left, while in South Africa, BA.4 and BA.5 are driving new vehicles.

That’s another reason to study the disappearing change, says Sarah Otto, a change veterinarian at the University of British Columbia. A difference that is not uniform for some time and space can go elsewhere. Indeed, Mu’s bad luck may have just happened too soon. “There may not be enough people with real defense to support that difference,” he said. Dr. Otto said.

But the difference in next-generation concerns could be the offspring, or something like that, immunizations that have not been held, he said.

Looking back at past changes can also provide insight into what works – or does not – in their presence. The new Gamma study, further proving that international travel restrictions, at least the United States has used them, does not seem to prevent differences in global transmission.

Gamma was first seen in Brazil in 2020. In May of that year, the United States banned most non-US citizens from traveling to the country through Brazil, a ban that still exists. in November 2021. Still Gamma was diagnosed in the United States. States in January 2021 and soon spread to more states.

Because Gamma has never been an international president, education her spread has provided a “clean” picture of the workings of travel restrictions, says Tetyana Vasylyeva, molecular epidemiologist at the University of California, San Diego and author of the study. “When it comes to learning a lot of things like, let’s say, Delta – something that has caused a huge contagion everywhere – it’s very difficult to find time to look for patterns, because it arises of size and speed, ”he said. .

In the ongoing global health crisis, with a rapidly changing disease, there is an understanding of the need to focus on the future,’s Dr. Fauver said. And as the world thought to turn to the Delta and then Omicron, he and his colleagues discussed whether to continue their study of the old news Mu.

“We’re like, ‘Does anyone care about Mu anymore?'” Dr. Fauver consciousness. “But we think there is still room for good research that asks questions about past concerns and tries to get back to what happened.”

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