A Omicron’s new version, called XE, is being announced in the UK, and there have been cases in other parts of the world. Here’s what we do – and don’t – know about the different types.
What do we know about the XE model now?
XE is a combination of the two currently known strains of Omicron: BA.1 (the original Omicron strain) and BA.2 (the most common form of Omicron in the US and other countries. ). XE is known to be recombinant, which is formed “when a SARS-CoV-2 patient acquires certain genetic material from a SARS-CoV-2 strain,” explains Drs. Andrew Badley, is a physician of pathology at the Mayo Clinic and chair of the SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 Task Force for the Mayo Clinic. This means that the new recombinant method selects the properties that apply to each filter, but it does not always become a threat. “Recombinant conditions for other diseases are well defined and are not often associated with further disease,” Badley said.
Three versions of XE do not have all BA.1 or BA.2 versions, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Experts say that while BA.1 and BA.2 are currently in high demand, it is not surprising that a new corporate filter has emerged. “Recombinant species are not uncommon, even though there are many different forms of migration, and some of them have been known during the course of the disease to this day,” said Susan Hopkins, author. UKHSA’s main medical term, in a nutshell. “Like all sorts of things[s]most will soon die. “
Researchers are studying the ease with which the XE species can spread. UK researchers found that when they first analyzed XE processes, they were as flexible as BA.2, but the latest data showed that they were 10% more flexible. Ia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) April 5, XE is about 10% more convertible than BA.2, but it notes the number that needs further validation.
Where did the cases come from?
The first case of XE was reported in the UK on January 19, 2022. So far, more than 600 cases of XE have been reported there, according to a March 25 report from the UKHSA – which is less than 1% of the total number of cases recorded. . This is nowhere near the number of cases caused by BA.2, which is the leading cause of SARS-CoV-2 in the UK and globally.
XE is also available in India and Thailand. A case was reported on April 6 in Mumbai, according to Bloomberg, and on April 4, the Center for Medical Genomics in Bangkok reported a new case of XE.
Do you have to worry?
“As with everything during SARS-CoV-2, there is no simple answer,” Badley said. “But to make a simple answer: if you’re pregnant and otherwise healthy, you don’t have to worry. If you haven’t been vaccinated and have co-morbidities, there’s reason to worry.”
The good news is that there are only a handful of XE cases. “We’ve known about the existence of the XE model since mid -January,” Badley said. “Now, two and a half months later, we see issues, but it hasn’t exploded.” To put that in context, “Omicron was first seen in November, and in four weeks around the world. So it’s not as powerful as Omicron,” he said.
What do we not know?
There is not enough information to tell if XE spreads more quickly or causes more serious illness than other strains of SARS-CoV-2. “Currently there is not enough evidence to draw conclusions about transmissibility, complexity, or chemical impact,” said Susan Hopkins, chief executive officer of the UKHSA, in a statement.
However, it is possible to draw some advice from the two parts in it. “We know the role of medications in preventing symptomatic disease for BA.1 and BA.2, and so we have every reason to believe that drug interventions have the best effect. work to prevent the symptomatic disease caused by XE, ”Badley said. Another idea is that “BA.1 and BA.2 can each escape some of the monoclonal antibody drugs,” so those drugs may not work well against XE, Badley said. “We also found that other medications that are widely used in the outpatient setting – Paxlovid and molnupiravir – should, in terms of their action, continue to work against the XE problem.”
UKSA is looking at XE and two other recombinant lines – XF and XD, which are recombinants of Delta and Omicron BA.1. Currently, the UKHSA says there are fewer than 40 reported cases of XF, across the UK (although none have been reported since mid -February). XD is not available in the UK, but 49 cases – mostly in France – have been reported in global data. The World Health Organization is looking at XE, XD, and more, according to the company’s latest report.
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