Kudriavtsev, A.V.; Vakhrusheva, A.V.; Novosеletsky, V.N.; Bozdaganyan, M.E.; Shaitan, K.V.; Kirpichnikov, M.P.; Sokolova, O.S. Immune Escape Associated with RBD Omicron Mutations and SARS-CoV-2 Evolution Dynamics. Viruses2022, 14, 1603.
Kudriavtsev, A.V.; Vakhrusheva, A.V.; Novosеletsky, V.N.; Bozdaganyan, M.E.; Shaitan, K.V.; Kirpichnikov, M.P.; Sokolova, O.S. Immune Escape Associated with RBD Omicron Mutations and SARS-CoV-2 Evolution Dynamics. Viruses 2022, 14, 1603.
The evolution and the emergence of new mutations of viruses affect their transmissibility and/or pathogenicity features, depending on different evolutionary scenarios of virus adaptation to the host. A typical trade-off scenario of SARS-CoV-2 evolution has been proposed, which leads to the appearance of an Omicron strain with lowered lethality, yet enhanced transmissibility. This direction of evolution might be partly explained by virus adaptation to therapeutic agents and enhanced escape from vaccine-induced and natural immunity formed by other SARS-CoV-2 strains. Omicron’s high mutation rate in the Spike protein, as well as its previously described high genome mutation rate (Kandeel et al., 2021), revealed a gap between it and other SARS-CoV-2 strains, indicating the absence of a transitional evolutionary form to the Omicron strain. Therefore, Omicron has emerged as a new serotype and divergent from the evolutionary lineage of other SARS-CoV-2 strains. Omicron is a rapidly evolving variant of high concern, whose new subvariants continue to manifest. Its further understanding and the further monitoring of key mutations that provide virus immune escape and/or high affinity towards the receptor could be useful for vaccine and therapeutic development in order to control the evolutionary direction of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Omicron; bioinformatics; immune escape; RBD mutations; vaccine development
LIFE SCIENCES, Virology
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