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NIV to isolate, culture of Omicron strains to assess vaccine efficacy, Health News, ET HealthWorld

PUNE: Indian Medical Research Council-National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV) scientists Omicron A new strain of coronavirus from a male throat / nasal swab sample of Dombivali in a high-end biosafety lab in Pune.

Scientific exercises answer two important questions. This variant can affect the effectiveness of Covishield and Covaxin. And will it fight the existing antibodies of people with Covid disease from older strains?

“ICMR-NIV received a positive sample of a male Don Vivari male whose genomic sequencing confirmed infection from the Omicron strain on Saturday night. It will take at least a week to isolate the entire Omicron strain from the sample. Then, a neutralization test will be conducted to evaluate the efficacy of covaxin and covishield-induced antibodies and naturally infected-induced antibodies against laboratory-grown strains. ” Said.

Isolation and culture of Omicron strains will be the first step in finding answers to these important questions. “Once the entire strain has been isolated in a biosafety lab and a sufficient amount of strain has been grown, scientists will be able to conduct neutralization studies and evaluate it. Vaccine efficacy“The official said.

Neutralizing tests are the best way to assess the effectiveness of a vaccine and the potential for reinfection. Through this study, scientists will also be in a position to compare “levels” of neutralization capacity with existing and new mutant strains.

“And beyond cell culture experiments, the ability to protect vaccine-induced and spontaneously-infecting antibodies can be studied in animal models against new variants. Positive correlations increase confidence in vaccines. Let’s do it, “said another virologist.

Infection with any strain of SARS-CoV-2 initiates an immune response against the entire virus, not just specific areas such as “spike”. This is why many experts believe that mutations are unlikely to affect vaccine protection.

The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that triggers an immune response contains 1,273 amino acids. The new Omicron variant has 32 amino acid changes or mutations in the S protein. Therefore, the assumption that the vaccine provides protection against new strains sounds logical, experts said.Neutralization research

ICMR-NIV scientists use animal cells to isolate and culture (proliferate) Omicron strains in sufficient quantities. Upon passage, it withdraws neutralizing antibodies from the serum or blood of Covid-recovered patients / vaccinated humans.

Laboratory-cultured (grown) Omicron strains are neutralized by exposing the strain to antibodies drawn from recovered patients / vaccinated participants and examining how they react with each other. Used in research.

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