The new Covid variant infects deep in the lungs


The new Covid variant infects deep in the lungs

USA – Recent research shows that the Covid JN.1 variant can infect cells in the lower lung area, making symptoms more severe.

The work published in the journal Cell in early January showed that JN.1 adheres to cells more effectively, participating in host cell membrane fusion.

JN.1 is the next generation of BA.2.86, with about 60 more mutations in the spike protein than the original nCoV version, 30 more mutations than the nearest major strain, Omicron (including BA.2 and XBB.1.5). Scientists fear that too many changes and mutations will cause difficult-to-stop outbreaks like Omicron in 2021 and 2022.

According to Shan-Lu Liu, lead author of the study, professor of virology in the Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Ohio State University, the ability of BA.2.86 and its descendants to infect lung epithelial cells is high. much better than previous strains of Omicron. This raises potential concerns about the toxicity of the virus, especially at a time when vaccines are less effective and people are more subjective.

Electron microscopic image of nCoV. Photo: NIAID-RML

“People who have had Covid-19 before should remember that Omicron is less toxic than previous strains, such as Delta, which means infected people often do not have severe symptoms. Therefore, their antibodies are also about 10 times lower. compared to antibodies produced by vaccines,” Professor Liu explained. This means the community cannot rely solely on natural infection to increase immunity. Vulnerable people such as those with underlying medical conditions are recommended to receive the vaccine every year.

BA.2.86 and its descendants, most notably JN.1, are spreading across countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified them as “variants of concern” (VOI), last December.

People infected with JN.1 often have symptoms of cough, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and runny nose. In the US, JN.1 is most active in the Northeast regions, including New Jersey and New York. He also recognized that this is the most rapidly growing mutation and is included in the area that needs monitoring. Recently, Thailand also recorded dozens of people on ventilators and died from JN.1 infection, most of this group had not been vaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

Thuc Linh (According to Times of India)

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