The EG.5 variant of SARS-CoV-2, belongs to the group of omicron, establishing itself as the premier edition in the world. After an announcement of Who, the EG.5 has received the title of “Variant of Interest”. This means that, in the context of the pandemic COVID-19There are no major changes in terms of transmissibility or immunological evasion.
Is it necessary to panic? Not necessary. Looking at this kind of progress in the numbers, no major statistical change is seen, which is why we remain at the lowest point of daily infections and deaths. However, with regard to the evolution of the virus, there are some relevant issues that deserve comment.
For those who have received the respective vaccines (preferably the bivalent vaccine), concerns about the emergence of new variants should be minimal. If you don’t have them it’s already very different. Apparently, due to so many mutations the virus has become weak and now natural immunity is able to fight it, just like it fights the common cold virus. By this I do not mean that we do not need to worry about it, because, although this may be the tendency of the virus to go extinct, it may also be due to a long adaptation process.
With respect to the structure-function of the ‘spike’ protein (that is, the protein that allows the pathogen to enter our cells), the virus has taken a few steps back, altering its structure with little or no minor mutations. Is modified with. Transmissivity, which in biological terms refers to affinity for host receptor proteins, has been measured for various subvariants of the clade. omicron‘Resulting in non-significant differences. Evolutionarily speaking, there is no longer speciation (so called when a single lineage splits into two or more due to changes in genetic material), but rather a linear evolution in the same branch of the tree. happens, which is omicron,
Similarly, with regard to evasion of the immune system, new mutations do not reduce the humoral response (by antibodies) or the cellular response (specifically by white blood cells). For this reason, a new generation of bivalent vaccines that contain the base sequence of the first identified version of SARS-CoV-2 and the ‘spike’ protein of the first version of the ‘clade’ omicron‘ (that is, which opened the whole range of subvariants known today, such as BA.2, BA.3, BA.4, BA.5, XBB.1, etc.), are effective and produce mild and moderate disease. Immunity is essential to prevent serious disease 100%.
What should we do now? Vaccination drives continue; However, there has been little response to the message from the global population Who About the end of the global emergency. Our state and the world in general have not stopped vaccination and the designated laboratories have also not stopped genomic surveillance. All these efforts are to prevent a surge in cases of mild and moderate disease, not because we are waiting for the arrival of a possible variant that will once again shake health systems. My advice is that we should not let our guard down and get everyone vaccinated. When you get vaccinated, you not only protect yourself, but you also protect others.