The infection explosion in China had raised the question of whether a new mutation was at work in the People’s Republic SARS-CoV-2. In reality, based on the (partial) information available to us, it is clear that overcrowding in Chinese hospitals is one of the sub-variants of omicron: The BF.7. Like all omicron mutations discovered in South Africa over a year ago, it has a greater ability to escape vaccines and is highly contagious. BF.7 evolved precisely from BA.5 (the currently dominant variant in Italy). while in China it is widespread, in other countries even European countries like France, Germany, Belgium and UK are declining. In Italy it is 10%. It is extremely contagious due to mutations in the S or spike protein, the harpoon that allows the virus to attach itself to and invade human cells and breathe life into the infection. A situation that alarmed the WHO, which “requested more precise data to be able to assess the risk”. The organization says it has not received any information about hospitalizations since the end of the Zero Covid policy. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have established an interprovincial data collection network to monitor the development of new variants.
The four waves of Omicron in Italy “detected” thanks to the sewage system, data from the Higher Institute of Health
Another mutant is causing concern in the United States. This is XBB.1.5 or Gripping. Until a few weeks ago, it was an almost imperceptible streak on the chart of variants of the coronavirus spread across the United States. Then it slowly went up, but in the last three weeks the rate at which it climbed became much faster and now “XBB.1.5 in US has more than doubled in 1 week” according to forecasts for the current 7 days . as pointed out by the American scientist Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California, who published on Twitter a graphic that “maps” the distribution of variants present in the country. This is a forecast (very short term as it relates to the current week). The sublineage of the christened Gryphon family on social media (recombining two sublineages from Omicron 2) is now reported at just over 40% (40.5%), Topol notes, and has “surpassed all variants,” Cerberus (the only BQ. 1.1) included.
Everything we know about the XBB.1.5 variant was summarized here a week ago https://t.co/mnaA3kemLp
We haven’t seen such rapid growth of a variant since Omicron BA.1 a year ago. Total US XBB last week = 18% of cases. Northeast now ~75% XBB.1.5. Perhaps the CDC and the media are finally taking notice
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) December 30, 2022
And in Italy? For the period November 14, 2022 to December 25, 2022, almost all cases are due to the Omicron variant, which accounts for 99.95% of the deposited sequencing, according to the Higher Institute of Health (ISS). The remaining 0.05% can be attributed to Delta/Omicron recombinants.
The BA.5 lineage is predominant (91.09% versus 0.05% for BA.1, 5.5% for BA.2, 0% for BA.3 and 0.7% for BA.4). Within the BA.5 lineage, 151 distinct sublineages have been identified. Among them, the most common are BQ.1.1, the so-called Cerberus (30.84%), BF.7 (10.31%), BQ.1 (5.24%). Very few deposited sequences from BA.2.75, the so-called centaur, which is 0.2% of the total. In addition, according to the ISS, “we continue to monitor the circulation of recombinant XBB (recombinants of sublineages BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75) and related sublineages that have recently been defined Gripping. These recombinants have been considered interesting variants for several weeks due to the presence of mutations associated with immune evasion ability. At the moment the sequences on the platform are pare at 2% of the grand totalan essentially stable value compared to the November Bulletin”.