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New Arrivals | Vazyme’s Latest “Omicron variant” Related Raw Materials for SARS-CoV-2 Detection

01 -

Fast-spreading Omicron

Almost a week ago, scientists in Botswana and South Africa alerted a fast-spreading SARS-CoV-2 variant, now known as Omicron (B.1.1.529). Researchers of South Africa and the rest of the world are carrying out researches urgently to understand more about the variant. 

1. Covid cases in Omicron-stricken South Africa spiralled almost five-fold in a week today. Public health officials in Gauteng, the home to Johannesburg, say their R rate has surged to 3.5 — just weeks after Omicron has been discovered in South Africa, where it is fastly growing as the dominant variant[1].

2. Based on the rise in COVID-19 cases and on sequencing data, Tom Wenseleers, an evolutionary biologist at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, estimates that Omicron can infect three to six times as many people as Delta, over the same time period, which suggests that Omicron has the potential to spread much faster and infect vastly more people than Delta[2].

3. According to a recent study posed by Nference, a Massachusetts-based data analytics firm, the same genetic codes appears many similarities between Omicron variant and one of the coronaviruses that causes colds in people, known as HCoV-229E, which would help Omicron evade attack by the human immune system, get people infected, and transmit more easily[3].

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The Omicron variant has been detected in 38 countries but no deaths have yet been reported, the WHO has confirmed.

Image source:mailonline

 

02 -

Can heavily mutated Omicron evade immunity from prior infection

1. A pre-print report published on Medrxiv by Juliet Pulliam, the Director of the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (SACEMA), states that Omicron variant has a stronger risk of reinfection than Beta and Delta, suggesting that the Omicron variant is associated with substantial ability to evade immunity from prior infection[4].

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2. B.1.1.529 has more “mutations to the spike protein” than past variants, with 50 mutations overall and 32 in the spike protein, said Tulio de Oliveira, director of South Africa’s Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation. According to NPR, Omicron has twice as many mutations as the delta variant.

3. New images of the Omicron variant’s 32 mutations (left) released by the Covid Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) show that the variant’s three mutations — H655Y, N679K, and P681H, located in the bottom right corner of the image — could help the virus sneak into the body more easily.

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Image source:COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium

4. A South Africa-based team, led by virologist Alex Sigal at the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban, is conducting similar tests of virus-neutralizing antibodies using infectious SARS-CoV-2 particles. So is a team led by Pei-Yong Shi, a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, who is collaborating with the makers of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine to determine how it holds up against Omicron. “I was really very concerned when I saw the constellation of mutations in the spike,” he says. “We just have to wait for the results[2].”

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03 -

Symptoms of the Omicron variant

According to the WHO, it is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta. Preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of specific infection with Omicron. There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants. Initial reported infections were among university students, with younger individuals tending to have more mild disease[5].

1. The striking similarity between Omicron virus and HCoV-229E makes it more like the coronavirus that causes colds, which means the virus transmits more easily, while only causing mild or asymptomatic disease, said Venky Soundararajan, a biomedical engineer of Nference.

2. South African Medical Research Council recently released an observation report also said that, in this wave, most patients had mild symptoms, with fewer requiring oxygen, and many may even not know they were infected until they went to the hospital.

3. Early reported Omicron infections were all mild cases, indicating that the variant might be less severe than some previous variants. However, Müge Çevik, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of St Andrews, UK, warns that these reports, which are often based on scant scraps of data, may be misleading.

04 -

Solutions provided by Vazyme

The WHO is working with a large number of researchers worldwide to learn more about Omicron, including conducting ongoing or upcoming studies to assess the variant’s transmissibility, severity of infection (including symptoms), performance of vaccines and diagnostic tests, and effectiveness of treatments. Based on this, Vazyme is racing to develop and produce a variety of Omicron products to boost the basic research related to the Covid-19 and reagent development for immunoassay.

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[Product validation data]

➣SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.1.529) Nucleocapsid Protein (His Tag), number:Vazyme #CG122

1. SDS-PAGE testing result: protein purity: ≥95%

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2. Double antibody sandwich ELISA method: SARS-CoV-2 Nucleoprotein antibody pair (RM3145-RM3144) can bind SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.1.529) Nucleoprotein (CG122), and the reaction curve is consistent with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 Nucleoprotein (CG101).

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3. Colloidal gold method: SARS-COV-2 Nucleoprotein antibody pairs (RM3144-RM3145 and RM3146-RM3147) can detect mutated (CG122) and wild (CG101) SARS-COV-2 Nucleoprotein through GICA, and the color intensity of the above two is consistent.

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[References]

1.奥密克戎毒株快速蔓延 南非新冠确诊病例超300万,中新网

2.How bad is Omicron? What scientists know so far (nature.com)

3.https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/omicron-variant-may-have-picked-up-piece-common-cold-virus-2021-12-03/

4.Increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection associated with emergence of the Omicron variant in South Africa;medRxiv; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.11.11.21266068doi:

5.https://www.who.int/zh/news/item/28-11-2021-update-on-omicron

6.Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 harbors a unique insertion mutation of putative viral or human genomic origin,https://osf.io/f7txy/

7.https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10272547/South-Africas-daily-Covid-cases-soar-467-week-16-055-new-infections.html