Institut Pasteur team detected a new omicron sublineage in Uruguay and warns of increased risk of covid-19 reinfection. However, the specialists clarified that a major impact on protection against severe disease is not expected.
Last week, with samples from October, the omicron sublineage BQ.1 was detected, as reported by El Observador based on data from the Institut Pasteur's Interinstitutional Working Group, which is in charge of epidemiological surveillance of covid-19 for the Ministry of Public Health.
This omicron sublineage shows a significant growth advantage over other circulating omicron sublineages in many settings, including Europe and the United States, the Institut Pasteur group said, adding that it is likely that these additional mutations [...] have conferred an immune escape advantage over other circulating omicron sublineages and thus an increased risk of reinfection of covid-19.
Regarding the impact of BQ.1, the scientists argued that vaccine protection against infection may be reduced due to particular sublineage mutations, but that at this time there are no epidemiological data to suggest an increase in disease severity. No major impact on protection against severe disease is anticipated, they said.
Among the subvariants of the omicron strain of Covid-19 circulating in Uruguay are BA.4, BA.5 and now BQ.1.
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