Sentarus, a new sub-variant of Omicron. “That’s why it could cause new waves.”

She was given a nickname Centaurus And virologists worry that it could lead to new waves. Omicron’s new sub-variant BA 2.75, first detected in India in early May, has now also been detected in the UK and Europe, US, Australia, Germany and Canada, and is a “special observation” for the WHO. Centaurus spreads faster than the variant Omicron PA.5 and quickly replaces BA.2 (Omicron 2) Previously dominated many countries.

The July 7 European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) He called it an “observed variant,” meaning it is suspected that it may be more prevalent or associated with more serious diseases. However Studies are still ongoing And there is no certainty about its major contagion or danger.

Centaurus, why do you care?

there Pa variance is 2.75 presents 8 Mutations The spike protein differentiates from omicron 2 and 11 compared to omicron 5 (currently the most prevalent variant in Italy, responsible for more than 60% of infections). According to experts, precisely this large number of mutations “Immune escape“That means the virus is possible Covid to escape immunity acquired by previous infection. In practice, it is possible to “re-infect” with a new variant after some time, and this will trigger a new epidemic wave.

In India, this new sub-variant competes with Omicron 5, and according to some experts, the advantage over BA.5 could make this version of Covid even more infectious, perhaps even more so than measles.

The effect of multiple mutations is difficult to predict Appear together: they give the virus a “wild card” property in which the sum of the parts is worse than the parts individually,” explains Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London who first identified Omicron.

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What happens after Omicron?

According to the peacock Sub-variant Centaurus can be undermined PA 5 and dominate ». If not, this could be a “taste” of what will happen in the coming months: the virus’s great ability to mutate, leading to “spreading”.Variations of a variation“Making new waves.

This is not the first time a virus has surprised us. As Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, points out: ‘Last year we were convinced that delta represented the evolutionary peak of the virus, but the appearance of Omicron and the huge increase in antibody variability and evasion is a sign that as a population, we cannot follow a flu-like program to keep pace with virus evolution.

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