January 18, 2022

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Dr. Claude-Alexandre Gustav: “What if the Omigron variant is in English?”

Dr. Claude-Alexandre Gustav, 36, a medical science biologist who specializes in immunology and microbiology, is a fan of popular science on Twitter.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Stephen Boncel, CEO of Moderna, predicts a “significant drop” in the effectiveness of vaccines against the Omigran variant. Do you agree?

Stephen Boncel Come forward a little though there is something to worry about. Omigron accumulates 50 mutations, including 30 spike protein [la principale clé d’entrée du virus dans nos cellules]. However, the beta variant (South African) had very few mutations, but was already resistant to the vaccine. In a French study of public health on vaccine efficacy among infected and symptomatic French people over the age of 50 who experienced beta and gamma (Brazilian) variants, the efficacy of the vaccine decreased from 85% to 67%. With Omicron, one can expect a reduction in vaccine protection, perhaps over time. That is why the third dose is important. By increasing our antibody levels tenfold, we increase our chances of resisting Delta and Omigran. Those waiting for the memorial Play dangerous game. Remember the French who refused to be vaccinated in the hope that they saw a new serum coming out of Sanofi’s laboratories. These are the things we see in intensive care today.

There is a high-speed transmission from Omigran in South Africa. Is this a strong enough example to justify closing borders in other countries?

In this case I – and not just myself – have several reservations. Omicron has been identified in Gauteng Province, At a time when the epidemic in South Africa was low. Now that it is in 85% of cases we have the impression that it overrides the delta, but initially only 77 lines were examined. Is it representative? In my opinion, no. This is not enough to prove that this variation shows lightning transmission. We should also keep in mind the so-called founder effect in genetics. The look of the event is probably not variant, but its local carrier (s), very mobile. That is, we have a large regional cluster containing most of Omigron. Nothing else.

“Screening PCRs are tools that specifically and simultaneously allow the detection of a mutation using tools that target certain mutations in the virus.”

You have doubts about the native country of Omigran. Why?

There is no evidence that Omigran is spreading faster than another variant, but it was found in Europe a few days after its discovery in South Africa. Why? Maybe because he was already with us. Examples of infections that have nothing to do with South Africa are on the rise. The Israeli cardiologist, who has been vaccinated three times, on his way back from London injured another three vaccinated colleagues who did not set foot in South Africa (without developing a more serious form). In November, the South African delegation returned home to spend Many days in Great Britain for COP26, this is rarely a global event. That same month, an English delegation traveled to Botswana for an international conference on corruption. What if Omicron is English? This is a plausible hypothesis. To many bioinformers, Omigron has provided no connection with the strains found in South Africa, but some will be distributed this summer in Europe and especially in Great Britain. The British are in the process of evaluating a few hundred suspected cases prior to September, which may be similar to Omicron. Nothing says that Omigran’s evidence is not European. This is why it makes no sense to suddenly close boundaries rather than impose testing, testing and isolation. It’s too late because Omicron is already with us.

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Is there enough weapon to decode Omigron’s complex genetic map?

On the PCR test page, yes. A person with Omicron disease will have a positive PCR test. His infection will be diagnosed but that does not mean that we know for sure that Omigron is the culprit. The PCR test indicates its localization but does not systematically identify it. For now, deployment can only confirm the presence of omigran in French soil. Takes several days. And in the case, Although we have improved since 2020, we are not doing very well. When France Kisite becomes available [base de données mondiale publique et gratuite] With 136,000 genetic sequences since the onset of the epidemic, the UK shares 1.3 million simultaneously. It is a question of structure and algorithm. Our hierarchical platforms are smaller than the larger consortium across the channel. They are diverse and not only bioinformatics working on Covid and its variants stand in line to use them. Fortunately, a new tool to detect Omicron variation is under study. These are called screening PCRs, which specifically and simultaneously allow the detection of a variant using tools that target certain mutations in the virus. Their use is immediate. This will no doubt save us precious time.