Catching the Omicron variant of Covid may also help people fend off Delta, new research suggests.
Researchers at Africa Health Research Institute measured antibodies in patients who had been infected by the super-infectious variant.
Two weeks after the infected patients were diagnosed, results revealed that their levels of antiviral proteins rose 14 times.
However, the number of viruses-fighting proteins capable of fighting the Delta variant increased fourfold during the same time.
The study’s authors suggested that Omicron could increase protection against Delta, as it stimulates immunity and antibodies which can also attack Delta.
The researchers suggested that Delta may soon be “pushed out” by increased immunity, which could herald the start of an endemic phase. If Omicron is truly milder than the mounting evidence indicates, this could happen.
Studies have shown that those who had previously been vaccinated or had Covid were less likely than others to get the virus.
Recent research has revealed that Omicron is more mild than some of its competitors and it’s less likely to cause serious complications in people who are exposed.
Below is a graph showing the evolution of antibody against each variant following infection. The scientists calculated the change in antibody levels after an infection by measuring antibodies in patients for four days immediately following symptoms appearing in fifteen patients. Ten days later, they measured them again.
Below is a chart showing estimates of Covid variant case numbers according to Britain’s biggest surveillance center, the Sanger Institute. This chart shows Delta cases fell by nearly a quarter in the last two weeks, according to the most recent available data.
The study involved the analysis of blood samples from 15 Covid patients and comparing them with live Omicron or Delta variants.
The samples were collected approximately four days following the onset of symptoms, then again 10 days later.
11 out of 15 participants received oxygen but were not admitted to hospital.
The two participants who were not positive for Covid were rejected because their bodies already had the virus cleared.
Seventeen of the 13 remaining were vaccinated, while six others were not. Three of those who were vaccinated had had two doses Pfizer jabs, while four received one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccinations. One was also topped with an booster.
Although scientists were unable to confirm that individuals have ever been infected by Delta virus, it is possible this was the result of South Africa’s massive waves of infections.
Alex Sigal (a University of KwaZulu–Natal virologist who conducted the research) said Omicron might provide protection against Delta.
‘The increase in neutralising immunity against Omicron was expected — that is the virus these individuals were infected with.
‘However, we also saw that the same people — especially those who were vaccinated — developed enhanced immunity to the Delta variant.’
He also said that Omicron may be less harmful than it appears from South African experiences. This will make it easier to push Delta.
“If this is true then we may be able to live with less disruption from Covid.”
Although the paper was preprinted on MedRxiv and has not been peer reviewed yet, it was published.
Yale University virologist Professor Nathan Grubaugh said that his results were consistent with ground observations.
He stated that Omicron is increasing exponentially while Delta cases fall.
“This indicates to me that Omicron outcompetes Delta for vulnerable individuals, making them less likely to contract Delta afterward and driving down Delta case numbers.”
Recent research suggests that Covid-infected people are more likely to get other types of the virus.
Omicron, however, has more mutations that other variations. This has allowed it to be better at getting around the body’s defenses.
Research also shows that the variant is more mild than other varieties.
According to Imperial College London, people who get it can be up to 20% less likely than others to have to go to hospital and as much as 45% less likely that they will need to remain in the hospital for more than one night.
The virus appears to be less harmful as the epidemic becomes more common.
Vaccines remain tuned to the original Wuhan virus and not Omicron, Delta.
Top scientists believe that increasing antibody levels can provide additional protection from any new variants.
Britain’s booster roll was accelerated in response to Omicron case after Omicron cases grew. This is done to safeguard society’s vulnerable.
As the new virus takes root, there are growing indications that Delta infections may be falling.
According to the Sanger Institute’s largest surveillance facility, 159,000 Delta cases were reported in the last two weeks of December 18.
It is 24 percent less than the last fortnight, when an estimated 211,000 cases were recorded.
Omicron infection rates have risen from 2000 to 200,000 in the same time frame.