South Africa: BA.4 and BA.5 increasing as a proportion of sequenced cases *1 UPDATE*

An increasing share of South Africa’s Covid-19 cases are the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages of the Omicron variant, suggesting those might have a growth advantage over others, Prof Helen Rees said on Thursday....More...

SARS-CoV-2 potential recombinants in Brazil, Belgium, France, Netherlands, US, Finland, Puerto Rico, Spain

SARS_CoV-2 recombinants seem to have been popping up across the globe recently. We have listed some of the most recent examples below, with links to their various Github issue pages....More...

WHO: BA.2 to remain classified as Omicron

Based on available data of transmission, severity, reinfection, diagnostics, therapeutics and impacts of vaccines, the group reinforced that the BA.2 sublineage should continue to be considered a variant of concern and that it should remain classified as Omicron....More...

Preprint: Omicron incompletely escapes immunity induced by the Pfizer vaccine

Laboratory research from South Africa strongly suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant escapes antibody immunity induced by the Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine, but that considerable immunity is retained in people who were both vaccinated and previously infected....More...

Preprint: Omicron is the product of extensive evolution that has left no obvious traces of intermediate forms

The Omicron variant identified in Southern Africa in late November 2021 is the product of extensive evolution within an infection context that has so far left no obvious traces of intermediate forms since it diverged from the B.1.1 lineage (presumably at some time in mid to late 2020)....More...

Preprint: Increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection associated with emergence of the Omicron variant in South Africa

332 individuals were identified who had three suspected infections. Most of these individuals initially tested positive during the first wave, with suspected reinfections associated with waves two and three....More...