Omicron: Transmissibility, Immune Evasion, and Pathogenicity
January 13, 2022
We are currently in a wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections dominated by the recently discovered omicron variant. What new threats does it pose? It is clearly able to overcome immune barriers to infection. Also, this variant is far more transmissible than others, making it an hyper transmissible variant. However, there may be a silver lining in the current dark cloud. Early studies from South Africa have suggested that this variant might cause more mild illnesses, and the recent information from several European countries, including the UK, seem to confirm this point. Since this variant has now become the major variant of concern, many scientists have evaluated transmissibility, host immune evasion, and pathogenicity of this variant based on data from clinical and animal studies.