Antibodies from patients who recovered from COVID-19 infection and those who received 2 doses of Pfizer vaccination are resistant to the new version.
According to a study, the novel coronavirus strain Omicron is completely immune to antibodies from persons who have been cured of the virus as well as those who have received 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The study comes amid an increase in cases of the disease, as defined by the (WHO) World Health Organization.
However, when combined with AstraZeneca and Pfizer, a third dosage of the Pfizer vaccination may be beneficial against the new variation, according to the study.
Multiple antibodies previously used to treat Covid-19 have been found to be ineffective against Omicron, according to the study in the journal Cell.
The Omicron coronavirus variant has caused widespread concern due to its great potential for transmission and the possibility of thirty-seven different mutations.
The variation was first discovered in South Africa and it has since spread to over a hundred nations around the world.
According to the researchers, the Omicron version of SARS-CoV-2 seems to be growing faster than any prior strain and it may soon dominate globally.
They employed non-hazardous disease particles that contain the Omicron spike proteins and are ideally suited to studying virus entry and inhibition in this investigation.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses the spike protein to enter and damage cells.
COVID-19 is now treated with antigens Casirivimab and Imdevimab, as well as Etesevimab and Bamlanivimab.
These antibodies, however, were shown to be mostly inactive against the Omicron spike, according to the researchers. According to them, only some antigens like Sotrovimab and Molnupiravir can block the Omicron spike.
According to study lead author Markus Hoffmann of the German Primate Centre, “our cell culture tests imply that most antibodies now accessible for COVID-19 treatment will be inefficient against Omicron.”
“Sotrovimab and Molnupiravir capsule is an exception,” Hoffmann said, adding that it “may become an essential therapy option for Omicron-infected patients.”
People who are infected in Germany during the initial wave of the pandemic may have developed antibodies that defend against the Omicron form, according to the researchers.
While the antibodies were effective against the virus that caused the first wave, they were ineffective against the Omicron wave.
They believe these people don’t have strong immunological defences against the Omicron version, though they haven’t looked into whether T cells, that are also created during infection, have a role.
Antibodies developed after two doses of the Pfizer vaccination also suppressed the Omicron spike less effectively than spike proteins from other variations, according to the researchers.
They found that after three Pfizer dosages and heterologous vaccination with Pfizer and AstraZeneca preventives, there was a greater protective effect.
These findings suggest that Pfizer’s dual vaccination may provide less protection against the Omicron version than the Delta variant.
It was discovered that triple vaccinations with Pfizer (boost) and cross-vaccination with Pfizer/AstraZeneca could provide better protection.
“Our findings suggest that Covid-19 antibody treatments should be tailored to the Omicron version. The BioNTech-Pfizer antibody should also be investigated for adaptation “Hoffmann stated.
“In contrast, BioNTech-Pfizer (booster) triple immunisation and cross-vaccination using Oxford-AstraZeneca,” Hoffmann said.