Genetic Differentiation and Diversity of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant in the Early Outbreak

ommicron

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There are more mutations carried by the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant than previously reported variants. However, the genetic differentiation and diversity within the omicron variant that occurs during its early spread remains unclear.

At the end of 2021, a new SARS-CoV-2 variant ommicron appeared in South Africa. It had 50 consensus mutations, of which 31 were mutations in the S protein. Omicron had a remarkable immune evasion ability and an extremely high transmission rate. As infection cases increase, there is currently a large number of genome sequences from the early stage of the omicron outbreak.

In this article, the authors extensively analyze the genetic differentiation and diversity of the ommicron variant during its early outbreak. More deletions were accumulated on the omicron genome than other four SARS-CoV-2 variants on the same time scale. In addition to 50 known consensus mutations, seven new notable non-synonymous mutations emerged. The rapid spread of the omicron variant can lead to high genetic differentiation and diversity in the population.

This study shows that omicron had remarkably rapid genetic differentiation and mutational diversity with its rapid spread. In conclusion more attention should be paid to the emerging ommicron sublines in disease prevention and control.

The research was published in Biosecurity and health.


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More information:
Shenghui Weng et al, Genetic Differentiation and Diversity of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant in the Early Outbreak, Biosecurity and health (2022). DOI: 10.116/j.bsheal.2022.04.004

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