Title

Literature Review of Omicron: A Grim Reality Amidst COVID-19

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-2022

Publication Title

Microorganisms

Volume

10

Issue

2

Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) first emerged in Wuhan city in December 2019, and became a grave global concern due to its highly infectious nature. The Severe Acute Respiratory Coronavirus-2, with its predecessors (i.e., MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV) belong to the family of Coronaviridae. Reportedly, COVID-19 has infected 344,710,576 people around the globe and killed nearly 5,598,511 persons in the short span of two years. On November 24, 2021, B.1.1.529 strain, later named Omicron, was classified as a Variant of Concern (VOC). SARS-CoV-2 has continuously undergone a series of unprecedented mutations and evolved to exhibit varying characteristics. These mutations have largely occurred in the spike (S) protein (site for antibody binding), which attribute high infectivity and transmissibility characteristics to the Omicron strain. Although many studies have attempted to understand this new challenge in the COVID-19 strains race, there is still a lot to be demystified. Therefore, the purpose of this review was to summarize the structural or virologic characteristics, burden, and epidemiology of the Omicron variant and its potential to evade the immune response.

Keywords

B.1.1.529; Cell-mediated immunity; COVID-19; Monoclonal antibodies; Omicron; South Africa; Vaccines

Disciplines

Diseases | Infectious Disease

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