The Australian state of New South Wales has detected the first 2 “recombinant” infections of the SARS-CoV-2 virus variants that cause COVID-19 – Illustration: AAP
According to the weekly report on COVID-19 of the Health Authority New South Wales announced on April 7, this state has recorded 1 “recombinant” infection of Delta and Omicron variants (ie. case of “Deltacron” – a combination of 2 variants Delta and Omicron) and 1 infection with 2 sublineages BA.1 and BA.2 of the Omicron variant.
A number of mixed infections were also detected in the week ending 2-4.
Viral recombination occurs when a patient previously infected with two distinct variants combine to create a new variant containing the genetic regions of both infectious variants. Meanwhile, mixed infections means simultaneous infection with two distinct viruses.
Associate Professor Stuart Grant Turville, a virologist at the Kirby Institute, said that recombinant infections with viral variants are still rare today, but could become more common as more cases of the variant are present. Delta and the Omicron variant in the community.
He also said that for recombinant infections, the ability to transmit and symptoms will depend on which virus inserts which virus. If it is a Delta – Omicron recombinant, it means that the entire spike glycoprotein from Delta is inserted into Omicron, then the recombinant virus will have the same mechanism of action as the Delta variant in terms of transmission and in how antibodies are generated. released by vaccines.
Associate Professor Turville also said the antibodies produced by the vaccine would be more effective against the Delta variant than against the Omicron variant, as well as with the recombinant virus. The vaccine works well against the Delta variant, he said, but the Omicron variant is much more infectious.
On April 8, the state of New South Wales recorded 20,396 cases of COVID-19 and 8 new deaths. There are 1,435 people being treated at the hospital, of which 44 are in intensive care.
The state health authority says the BA.2 subline of the Omicron variant is currently the dominant infectious variant, accounting for about 97 per cent of infections detected in New South Wales. Sub-lineage BA.1 is also circulating in New South Wales but to a lesser extent.