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SARS-CoV-2 protein mutants

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For easier and more practical discussion of the variants, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated some variants “Variants of Concerns (VOCs)” or “Variants of Interests (VOIs)” because of their ability to significantly change the virus’ properties. Recently, WHO has renamed the dominantly circulating variants by Greek alphabets, i.e. Alpha (α) for B.1.1.7 (U.K. variant), Beta (β) for B.1.351 (South Africa), Gamma (γ) for P.1 (Brazil), Delta (γ) for B.1.617.2 (India), etc. Since the SARS-CoV-2 Delta outbreak in India in April 2021, the highly contagious Delta variant has rapidly spread all over the world and displaced Alpha to be the most prevalent variant.

Another variant Lambda (C.37) sparked headlines this summer after the WHO noted its rapid spread in South American countries, including Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil. The WHO reported that "lambda has been associated with substantive rates of community transmission in multiple countries, with rising prevalence over time concurrent with increased COVID-19 incidence" and that more investigations would be carried out into the variant. On Nov 26th, 2021, WHO designated variant B.1.1.529 the fifth variant of concern, named Omicron. To support the research of Omicron, ACROBiosystems immediately organized an emergency response team and successfully developed a series of core research tools with high quality, including antigens, antibodies, pseudovirus, and ELISA kits.

To limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 variants, surveillance is needed to investigate how some variants may impact the virus’ transmissibility, the associated disease severity, or the effectiveness of vaccines, therapeutic medicines and diagnostic tools.


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