Promising Study: The Mild Omicron Variant Might Displace Delta

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The Africa Health Research Institute conducted a study under the leadership of Alex Sigal and his team of 30 researchers to look into whether there is any transferability of natural immunity between the Omicron and Delta variants.

They found that people who are infected with Omicron, especially those who are vaccinated, gain stronger immunity against Delta. They hope that Omicron will displace Delta.

“We have submitted new results to medRxiv: Omicron infection enhances neutralizing immunity against the Delta variant,” Sigal announced on Twitter.

The research involved 13 Omicron patients, seven of which were vaccinated and one who had received a booster shot. To conduct the study, the scientists measured how well participants were able to neutralize Omicron and Delta upon enrollment, and 14 days later. During that time frame, they found that neutralization of Omicron generally increased 14-fold, while Delta neutralization increased 4.4-fold.

“The increase neutralizing immunity against Omicron was expected – that is the virus these individuals were infected with,” Sigal noted. “However, we also saw that the same people – especially those who were vaccinated – developed enhanced immunity to the Delta variant. If, as it currently looks like from the South African experience, Omicron is less pathogenic, then this will help push Delta out, as it should decrease the likelihood that someone infected with Omicron will get re-infected with Delta.”

“If that’s true, then the disruption Covid-19 has caused in our lives may become less,” Sigal continued.


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