Omicron grows in the airways, not the lungs. New data on asymptomatic cases


Omicron grows in the airways, not the lungs. New data on asymptomatic cases

Here is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that requires further investigation to confirm results that have not yet been approved by peer review.

Omicron multiplies faster in the airways and is slower in the lungs.

Key differences in how efficiently the omicron multiplies and other variables from the coronavirus may help predict Omicron's effects, researchers said on Wednesday.

Compared to the previous delta variant, Omicron replicates itself 70 times faster in tissues lining airway passages, which could facilitate person-to-person spread, they said. But in lung tissue, Omicron replicates ten times more slowly than the original version of the coronavirus, which may contribute to less severe disease.

An official report of the findings is under peer review for publication and has not been released by the research team. In a press release from the University of Hong Kong, study leader Dr. Michael Chan Chi-wai said, the severity of disease in humans is determined not only by virus replication" but also by each person's immune response. Infection, which sometimes develops into a life-threatening illness.

Chan added, "By infecting more people, a highly contagious virus may cause more serious illness and death. So, taken with our recent studies, the Omicron variant could partly escape immunity from vaccines. And from the previous infection, the overall threat from the Omicron variant is likely to be very significant."

Omicron grips cell more tightly, counteracting some antibodies

According to the researchers, a structural model of how the Omicron variant binds to cells and antibodies sheds light on its behavior and will aid in the design of neutralizing antibodies.

Using computer models of the spike protein on an omicron's surface, they analyzed the molecular interactions that occur when the spike grabs onto a cell surface protein called ACE2, the virus' gateway to the cell.

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