Omicron desenvolve-se nas vias aéreas
December 17, 2021 - Segundo um estudo da Universidade de Hong Kong que aguarda revisão por pares, a variante Omicron do coronavírus pode multiplicar-se nas vias aéreas com maior rapidez que a versão Delta e a estirpe original.
Compared to the earlier Delta variant, Omicron replicates 70 times more quickly in the bronchus -- the tissue which connects the trachea to the lungs – within 24 hours after infection.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers led by Michael Chan Chi-wai, found that the newest variant of concern replicated less efficiently -- more than ten times lower -- in lung tissue than the original strain, which may signal “lower severity of disease.” The findings, posted on Monday on the website bioRxiv ahead of peer review, need to be verified.
A separate study conducted by researchers at New York-based Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons found the virus resistant to “convalescent plasma,” donated by people who have recovered from infection.
The non-peer-reviewed study also found that neutralizing potency from individuals who received the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA-based vaccines was reduced 21-fold and 8.9-fold, respectively.
The Hong Kong University study warns against taking the new variant lightly. “By infecting many more people, a very infectious virus may cause more severe disease and death even though the virus itself may be less pathogenic,” Chan said in the statement.