Omicron may evade protection offered by COVID vaccine, antibody therapy: Study – Times of India – India Times English News

Washington: omicron can escape the immune protection provided by covid-19 vaccines and natural infections, according to a peer-reviewed study that also suggests that the new version of the coronavirus is completely resistant to the antibody therapies in use today.
The study, published Thursday in the journal Nature, also highlights the need for new vaccines and treatments that help predict how SARS-CoV-2 Virus may develop soon.
Researchers from Columbia University in the US and the University of Hong Kong noted that an important feature of Omicron is the alarming number of changes in the variant’s spike protein that could threaten the effectiveness of current vaccines and therapeutic antibodies,
The study tested the ability of antibodies generated by vaccination to neutralize omicrons in laboratory tests, including antibodies against live viruses and mimic variants against laboratory-produced pseudoviruses.
Researchers found that antibodies from people who double-vaccinated with Moderna, pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines were significantly less effective at neutralizing Omicron than the original virus.
They said that antibodies from previously infected individuals were less likely to have neutralizing omicrons.
The study suggests that people who received a booster shot from Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine were more likely to have better protection, although their antibodies also demonstrated less neutralizing activity against Omicron.
“The new results suggest that previously infected individuals and fully vaccinated individuals are at increased risk of infection with the omicron variant,” said David Ho, a professor at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Ho said, “Even a third booster shot may not adequately protect against omicron infection, but getting it is definitely advised, as you will still benefit from some immunity.” Will be.” Will happen.”
The researchers noted that the findings are consistent with other neutralization studies, as well as preliminary epidemiological data from South Africa and the UK, which show that the efficacy of two doses of vaccines against symptomatic disease is significantly lower than that of Omicron.
The study also shows that all monoclonal antibody treatments currently in use are much less effective against most of the developmental omicrons.
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight harmful pathogens such as viruses.
According to the researchers, in neutralizing studies with monoclonal antibodies, only one — Brii198 approved in China — retained remarkable activity against Omicron.
He said the acronym for Omicron is completely resistant to all antibodies in clinical use today.
The study’s authors note that Omicron is now the most complete “escape” from neutrality that scientists have observed.
They also identified four new mutations in Omicron’s spike protein that help the virus evade antibodies, a finding that could inform the design of new approaches to combating the variant.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses spike proteins to enter and infect human cells.
The researchers suggest there is a need to develop new vaccines and treatments that can better predict how the virus is developing.
“It is not too far-fetched to think that SARS-CoV-2 is now only one mutation or two away from being completely resistant to current antibodies, using monoclonal antibodies as either treatment or vaccination. . originated or transitioned from previous variants,” Ho said.