For several months now, the daily life of billions of people has been disrupted by the renewed spread of the coronavirus. Across borders, the disease is raging. And the most difficult thing is that over the years, many strains of COVID-19 have developed.
A mutating variant?
Of particular note, Omicron.
This is why the scientists of the Pfizer BioNTech laboratory chose to further their research in view of the spread of this umpteenth form of coronavirus. Indeed, while this particular variant is less deadly than its predecessors, the initial vaccine is also less effective against Omicron.
According to information from The Conversation, the SARS-CoV-2 virus necessarily develops a protein called Spike, as you might well know by now. This protein binds to the ACE2 enzyme, found pretty much anywhere in your body. This is what limits the contamination of the virus. Omicron has not yet achieved this. It could be that, with time, its spread will be reduced more and more. This would mean that this variation of Covid-19 could well become the 'ultimate' variant of concern for the disease.
It's already happening in South Africa
When the immune system is infected, it produces antibodies and T cells. These cells enable the body to recognise which pathogens are invading the body. If the SARS-CoV-2 virus constantly changes how it looks, the immune system can no longer recognise it. This is why Omicron manages to infect many people who have already been immunised, either by vaccination or through a previous infection.
But scientists are clear. The Omicron variant cannot mutate indefinitely. According to Pfizer's data, T-cells should respond in the same way to Omicron and previous variants. As a result, most people in South Africa are now immune to this form of COVID. The mortality rate from this variant of the virus has fallen. In the future, our immune systems may be able to easily control and eliminate Omicron.