Omicron could displace Delta variant

Research by South African scientists suggests that Omicron could displace the Delta variant of the coronavirus because infection with the new variant boosts immunity to the older one.

Iran PressAfrica: Becoming infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 could boost immunity against the earlier Delta strain, according to a new study from South Africa.

In the small study, scientists at the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban found that people who were infected with Omicron — particularly those who were vaccinated — developed enhanced immunity to Delta.

The research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, involved 15 vaccinated and unvaccinated Omicron patients in South Africa, according to Bloomberg News, which noted that two were excluded because they didn’t detectably neutralize Omicron.

The authors, led by Alex Sigal and Khadija Khan, found that while the neutralization of Omicron increased 14-fold over 14 days after the enrollment, there also was a 4.4-fold increase in neutralization of the Delta variant.

“The increase in Delta variant neutralization in individuals infected with Omicron may result in decreased ability of Delta to re-infect those individuals,” the authors said.


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