Omicron and Delta – can risk «double infection» – archyde

The fact that the two coronavirus variants Delta and Omicron are so different means that Now it is discussed whether the two variants can coexist a long time ago. This could lead to a “double epidemic”.

It can probably lead to the fact that you can be infected with both variants at the same time, says the immunologist and UiO professor Anne Spurkland.

– If both circulate, it can happen. If you’ve been to the same party where a carrier for each of the viruses showed up, there is a theoretical possibility that you might be affected by both viruses at the same time, says Spurkland Dagbladet.

Two kinds of Christmas tables

The immunologist points out the outbreak the Christmas table at Aker Brygge in Oslo on November 26thwhere 74 percent of the participants were found infected. the preliminary analysis results shows that most cases of infection occurred with the Omicron variant, while one of the 111 participants was infected with the Delta variant.

In the Oslo nightclub you could have been exposed to an infection of both variants on the evening in question – at the same time.

DOUBLE INFECTION: The immunologist Anne Spurkland explains how you can theoretically become infected with the Omicron and Delta variants at the same time. Photo: Hans Arne Vedlog / Dagbladet
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The probability of a double infection is presumably lower if one is not exposed to the variants at the same time, explains Spurkland. There is little data here.

– My gut feeling is that if you start an immune reaction first, then the other virus can no longer do anything. There are difficult conditions for a new virus of the same type if the immune response persists. Having two different strains at the same time is most realistic when exposed at the same time, in the same classroom, or at the same party.

Can create a hybrid

Under a hearing in the UK Parliament In early December, Moderna chief doctor Paul Burton warned that a double infection could lead to a new hybrid variant.

– It enables the two virus variants to be recombined. You can then split genes and swap genes, the Moderna spike said.

Through the recombination, both viruses infect the same cell, which means that the variants mix genetic material and thus form a new virus variant.

This is currently only a theoretical possibility, explained Burton. The immunologist Spurkland is not worried.

– I agree that if you get a double infection in the same cell, they can mix together to give you hybrid varieties. So we get new varieties of flu every year, but it’s a completely different virus and a completely different biology. I am not worried. In order for this to happen, there are some things that are not very likely to happen at the same time.

Big differences

The fact that hybrids and double transmissions are mentioned at all is due to what Spurkland describes as an “astonishingly large difference” between the two types.

– When it comes to delta and omicron, they are similar in some places, but different in a surprising number of places. I can only find one position where delta and omicron are exactly the same, says Spurkeland.

The biggest difference concerns the most critical areas of the virus, which determine the virus’ ability to invade cells.

Omicron has 32 mutations in the spike versus 10 in the delta. 15 of the 32 mutations are located in the area of ​​the “nail”, which specifically binds to the cells in our body.

– The previous mutations also had changes in the specific area the virus used to enter cells, but no more than one or two. Now there are 15. There is a very big difference that could explain why Omicron is so easily transmitted despite the vaccine and previous infection, explains the immunologist.

High risk of reinfection

A recent UK study, based on statistics from the UK Health Security Agency and the National Health Service, shows that Omicron is associated with a 5.4 times higher risk of reinfection than Delta.

The study has not yet been reviewed.

– This study provides further evidence of how Omicron can significantly bypass the immunity that a previous infection or vaccination provided, according to lead author Neil Ferguson Reuters.

This can result in people becoming infected with Omicron and being able to participate within a few months, even if they are vaccinated.

– Yes, you can so far. You will become immunized after infection. Every time you come across the virus through either a vaccine or an infection, the immune system is boosted and better prepared for the next time, Spurkland says.

The Danish Institute for Public HealthStatens Serum Institute (SSI) assumes that the Omicron variant can infect people who have become infected with the Delta variant. They assume that the opposite will not happen.

COLLECT: The Deputy Health Director Espen Rostrup Nakstad answers Dagbladet’s questions about Corona and the Omicron variant.
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– Uplifting study

At the same time, the UiO professor points to an “uplifting study” that might suggest that a recent post-vaccination infection offers good protection. The study looked at what happens to T cells, the second part of the immune system, during vaccination and infection.

The T cells are responsible for cellular immunity, it is said Great medical encyclopedia.

– The study suggested that the order in which this happens – vaccine or infection first – doesn’t matter. In the end, you have a particularly solid immune system against the virus anyway. So far we have considered the best immunity to be those who are infected first and then vaccinated. But if you get vaccinated and then become infected, there is reason to believe that it is.

Models of FHI It is estimated that 90,000 to 300,000 Norwegians can be infected daily if the Omicron variant is allowed to spread freely. Therefore, it is not unlikely that those who are fully vaccinated will at some point become infected, either through Delta or Omikron.

– Then you have good immunity for a while, but we don’t know how long that time is, says Spurkland.

– One of the big questions

There is still a great deal of uncertainty as to the level of immune flight Omikron has from Delta-specific immunity.

The department head at FHI, Line Vold, describes this as “one of the big questions” of the future. That is, to what extent the variants offer what is known as cross-immunity.

– It seems that the effect of the vaccine on spreading the infection is somewhat reduced. The vaccines are not being developed for Omicron, but other variants. But there is much evidence that the vaccines against serious illnesses work well. That means it’s important that everyone is okay with the first, second, and third doses when they are offered them, Vold says.

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