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Wed Sep 28, 2022, 12:53 PM

Big COVID-19 waves may be coming, new Omicron strains suggest

Nearly 3 years into the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 faces a formidable challenge: finding new ways around the immunity humans have built up through vaccines and countless infections. Worrisome new data show it is up to the challenge. Several new and highly immune-evasive strains of the virus have caught scientists’ attention in recent weeks; one or more may well cause big, new COVID-19 waves this fall and winter.

“We can say with certainty that something is coming. Probably multiple things are coming,” says Cornelius Roemer, who studies viral evolution at the University of Basel. Whether they will also lead to many hospitalizations and deaths is the big question. “It’s not surprising that we’re seeing changes that yet again help the virus to evade immune responses,” says molecular epidemiologist Emma Hodcroft of the University of Bern, who notes that SARS-CoV-2 faces “the same challenge that things like the common cold and influenza face every year—how to make a comeback.”

The strains that look poised to drive the latest comeback are all subvariants of Omicron, which swept the globe over the past year. Several derived from BA.2, a strain that succeeded the initial BA.1 strain of Omicron but then was itself outcompeted in most places by BA.5, which has dominated in recent months. One of these, BA.2.75.2, seems to be spreading quickly in India, Singapore, and parts of Europe. Other new immune-evading strains have evolved from BA.5, including BQ.1.1, which has been spotted in multiple countries around the globe.

Despite their different origins, several of the new strains have chanced upon a similar combination of mutations to help scale the wall of immunity—a striking example of convergent evolution. They all have changes at half a dozen key points in the viral genome that influence how well neutralizing antibodies from vaccination or previous infection bind to the virus, says evolutionary biologist Jesse Bloom of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. To quickly gauge how well any new subvariant may evade immunity, researchers make copies of the viruses’ spike proteins and expose them to monoclonal antibodies or sera from people to measure how well the antibodies can block the variants from infecting cells. Using such tests, researchers in China and Sweden have found that spike protein from BA.2.75.2 can effectively evade nearly all the monoclonal antibodies used for treating COVID-19, suggesting these treatments may become useless.

https://www.science.org/content/article/big-covid-19-waves-may-be-coming-new-omicron-strains-suggest

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Reply Big COVID-19 waves may be coming, new Omicron strains suggest (Original post)
milestogo Sep 28 OP
sprinkleeninow Sep 28 #1
Tomconroy Sep 28 #2
I_UndergroundPanther Sep 28 #3
SheltieLover Sep 28 #4
XanaDUer2 Sep 28 #7
SheltieLover Sep 28 #9
SergeStorms Sep 29 #13
usonian Sep 28 #5
SheltieLover Sep 28 #10
Siwsan Sep 28 #6
SheltieLover Sep 28 #11
Skittles Sep 28 #8
SheltieLover Sep 28 #12
SergeStorms Sep 29 #14

Response to milestogo (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 01:00 PM

1. "Demonic viruses! Go back into the pit of HELL from whence you came!!"

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 01:02 PM

2. These articles always talk about antibody response.

They never talk about T cell response which is what protects against serious illness.

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 01:06 PM

3. Shit.

Fuck you covid virus monster.

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 01:25 PM

4. Great reasons for CDC to relax mask recs



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Response to SheltieLover (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 03:57 PM

7. I know

Hearing that doctors' offices don't have to follow mandates made me so angry. My NP today wasn't wearing a mask. Patients were, and the sign outside said masks required. Wtaf?

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Response to XanaDUer2 (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 04:01 PM

9. Hardly anyone here wears masks (red hellhole TN)

I have & will continue to do so!

😷

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Response to XanaDUer2 (Reply #7)

Thu Sep 29, 2022, 12:14 AM

13. You can't enter my Doctor's outer-office....

without wearing an approved mask (meaning no bandanas or gaiters). They'll provide one if you forgot to bring one, but no one goes in there without one on their face.

I love my Doctor. He doesn't take shit from anyone.

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 02:20 PM

5. Looking forward: One for All? New antibody neutralizes all known SARS-CoV-2 variants in lab tests

https://hms.harvard.edu/news/one-all

An antibody developed by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital now seems to fit the bill. In lab tests, it neutralized all currently known SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including all omicron variants.

Once the virus has bound to ACE2, it must complete a final step: fusing its outer membrane with the membrane of our cells. This throws the door open to infection. Using a novel live-cell imaging platform, Alex Kreutzberger, HMS instructor in pediatrics at Boston Children’s, and Tomas Kirchhausen, professor of cell biology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS and professor of pediatrics at Boston Children’s, showed that SP1-77 blocks this step.

“SP1-77 binds the spike protein at a site that so far has not been mutated in any variant, and it neutralizes these variants by a novel mechanism,” noted Kirchhausen. “These properties may contribute to its broad and potent activity.”Findings were published in Science Immunology on Aug. 11. https://www.science.org/doi/epdf/10.1126/sciimmunol.add5446 (pdf)


Well, it's protecting mice. How long before it protects humans? TBD.

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Response to usonian (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 04:03 PM

10. Promising!

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 02:31 PM

6. This confirms the validity of my decision to not travel to Florida for my nephew's wedding in Nov.

Between dealing with the flights and the venue, it just didn't seem wise because I figured there'd be a spike.

Fortunately they are live streaming the ceremony.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 04:04 PM

11. Glad you are zooming it!

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 03:59 PM

8. so many stupid, selfish people refusing to take any precautions

fuck them all

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Response to Skittles (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 04:05 PM

12. Yup!

Covidiots!



😷

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Thu Sep 29, 2022, 12:18 AM

14. Why doesn't it just pack it in?

Give up, you stupid virus. You're killing your hosts and no virus can continue if it kills it's hosts.

Stupid virus.

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