The first instance of Omicron was discovered within South Africa on 24 November 2021. According to WHO the first Omicron infection sample Omicron was collected on November 9, 2021. Within a week of receiving the first infection, Omicron has spread to 25 countries around the world, including Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel, the UK, Germany, India, and the Netherlands.
Omicron is a variant that has a faster rate of mutation than delta, which has caused havoc across the world. The totality of 50 mutations has been observed in Omicron of which 30 occurred in the spike protein. It is via this spike protein coronavirus allows for infiltrating to the body of the person. As a comparison, the coronavirus had 18 variants within the delta S Protein of Delta.
There were also 10 mutations within Omicron’s receptor-binding region. Omicron while the delta variant contained only two mutations. It is this receptor-binding component of the virus that first encounters an individual cell within our body. The present Kovid vaccine is not as effective against Omicron like it has been on the delta virus that is part of the coronavirus.
However, patients with the new Omicron variant are now being discovered in new nations. Two recent names included in the database comprise France along with Japan. Of the 50 mutations found in Omicron 32 mutations have been identified on the protein spike and 10 of them in the delta. This is a cause for concern since the majority of corona vaccines currently available identify Omicron only via the spike protein.
The mutation has occurred within the spike protein itself the vaccine will now have a difficult time identifying the virus. This is why it is being discussed to neutralize the Omicron corona vaccine, to a large extent.
A further concern is the fact that 10 mutations in the omicron protein have been identified in this component of the spike protein that the virus utilizes to infiltrate the cells of the human body. Two of these mutations were discovered in Delta. In light of this, it was the World Health Organization immediately declared Omicron as a variant that is of concern.
The difference in Omicron VS Delta
- Genomics analysis in COVID-19’s Omicron variant has revealed that it is more mutated than the COVID-19 delta variant. Researchers have discovered 43 variants within the spike protein in Omicron as opposed to just 18 mutations in the COVID-19 delta.
- There are more mutations in the spike protein in the Omicron than in the delta variant. However, the implications of this remain to be determined.
- The more mutations that occur on the Omicron variant don’t necessarily mean that it’s more infectious. This implies it is possible that this virus created another variant that is adapting to the human race.
- The spike protein from the Omicron variant also contains identical mutations as beta, delta, and alpha or beta versions.
- Researchers in South Africa believe that people who are infected by Omicron might have more instances of re-infection.
- Delta variant is also known as B.1.617.2 where the scientific name for this variant is Omicron variation is B.126.96.36.1999.
- Delta was first identified as a result of a famine in India as well as it was later reported in India. The Omicron version was the first identified by southern Africa.
- This variant developed the spike protein mutation K417N which was also detected within the beta variant which was first discovered within South Africa.
- Omicron has a large number of mutations to the spike protein that plays a crucial part in the entrance of the viral infection into cell walls of human bodies. B.188.8.131.529 variants contain 50 mutations that are greater than the number of mutations within the protein spike.
- Delta Plus was present in approximately 12 countries. The first time it was reported was in Mysore in India, where the Omicron variant was discovered in over 25 countries.
- Delta was not extremely altered i.e. there were no mutations in Delta however Omicron has the highest number of the mutation-prone virus to be discovered.
- The delta variant may be controlled by the vaccine. Omicron variants are believed to be more susceptible to being controlled with the current vaccines.
- 43 mutations have been observed within those in the Omicron variant, while there were only 18 in the delta variant.