Types BA4 and BA.5 are bringing a new wave of pollution in South Africa today, which is being closely monitored by health officials. Both, already found in France, contain two mutations of interest that promote awareness.
This is the essence of the virus that struck the world two years ago: SARS-CoV-2 changes, changes and changes over time. From beta to alpha, via delta, Omigron and its younger brother BA.2: Like many countries in the world, France is affected by many types. Govit-19, With very different properties. To anticipate the development of the health condition in France, health officials are closely monitoring the evolution of the virus mutations.
Omigron and its variants: the first cases in France, advanced surveillance … What we know about the circulation of BA.4 and BA.5
All eyes are now on South Africa on this issue. And for good reason: Antoine Flahault, a medical epidemiologist and director of the World Health Organization at the University of Geneva, explains: “Many of the past waves in South Africa were chronologically present in Western Europe.” By Midi Dispatch. The country is currently affected by the fifth wave of Covid 19 carried out by BA.4 and BA.5 variants, which is new to the epidemic landscape. These two variants are “mainly recognized in South Africa: they represent 70% of the listed strains,” says the professor.
Immune escape and high spread
As the virus resumes circulation in South Africa, more can be learned about these two types. Both have already been found in France : Health officials have identified a case of contamination in BA.4 sub-descent – linked to a trip to South Africa, according to officials. Two other cases of BA.5 infection have been detected in the country. Both types are subject to a call for awareness, launched this month by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention: “This call is not based on the epidemiological or clinical component of concern, but on the profile genetics of these two subgroups”, as pointed out by Public Health France.
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This genetic profile, what is it? It is based on changes of interest that are closely monitored by the authorities. Two of them have been isolated by scientists:
- The L452R mutation : This mutation has already been detected in the delta variant. It states that “the virus’s have a high affinity for the ACE2 receptor, which allows the virus to infect human cells.
- The F486 mutation : “It is associated with a reduction in the neutralization of antibodies, so may actually play a key role in vaccine survival”.
Other analyzes have yet to be carried out to assess as soon as possible the characteristics of these two types. In France, setting up increased monitoring of these variations would also be a question. Currently, three cases of pollution detected in the country “do not reveal any elements of concern based on symptomatic and clinical presentation,” France explains.