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Omicron BA.5 Subvariant More Likely to Cause Damage Than Old Variants, Study Finds

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Omicron BA.5 Subvariant More Likely to Cause Damage Than Old Variants, Study Finds

(CTN News) – According to recent research, the Omicron BA.5 subvariant of the coronavirus may end up inflicting more harm to the human body than anticipated.

The subvariant, which is common in China and has been the main cause of the rise in infections there, presents a greater risk to an infected person’s brain, according to a study done by researchers from Australia and France, as reported by South China Morning Post.

After a thorough investigation, the scientists found that the Omicron BA.5 subvariant significantly worsened the effects of the earlier BA.1 subvariant on cultured human brain tissues and mice brains.

Additionally, the research results demonstrated that Omicron BA.5 caused symptoms including weight loss, brain inflammation, and death.

It is important to note that the research contradicts the widely held belief that viruses lose some of their pathogenicity as they develop.

We discovered that a BA.5 isolate had higher pathogenicity in K18-hACE2 mice, resulting in fast weight loss, brain infection, encephalitis, and death compared to BA. 1.

Additionally, according to a research extract, BA.5 considerably outperformed BA. 1 in effectively infecting human brain organoids.

How accurate is the study?

The team of researchers, led by virologist Andreas Suhrbier of Queensland’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, concluded that the findings “indicate that the Omicron lineage is not evolving towards lower pathogenicity.”

However, others with more in-depth knowledge of virology have expressed skepticism about the study and emphasized that its main drawback was using a mouse model for research, which cannot be adequately translated to humans.

They demonstrated that Omicron BA. 5 brain infections, which are reportedly extremely distinct from known human diseases, caused the deaths of all the mice.

In the end, pathogenicity to human patients—rather than to mice—is what counts, according to Jin Dongyan, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong.

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Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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