The University of Hong Kong introduced on November 30 that the research team of the Department of Microbiology of the University of Hong Kong successfully isolated a variant of the new coronavirus Omi Keron from clinical specimens on the 29th. The isolated variants will be used to develop and produce inactivated whole virus vaccines.

  It is understood that the research team is further isolating and cultivating the mutant strain for subsequent experiments.

The cultured virus will be used in animal models to evaluate its transmission, immune escape and pathogenicity.

The research team is also actively exploring various possibilities for cooperative development and production of inactivated whole virus vaccines.

  On December 1, the main person in charge of the research team of the University of Hong Kong stated in an interview that isolating the mutant strain is the first step in cultivating a large number of viruses and producing inactivated vaccines, and it is also an important “bottleneck” in overcoming the problem of virus research.

The next main work of the research team is to study the effect of the current vaccine on the mutant virus, and to study whether the transmission power and pathogenicity of the mutant strain have changed compared with the previous mutant virus.

In addition, the project team experts revealed that the relevant serum test results will be announced within a few days to a few weeks.

At present, the project team is also committed to integrating the new variant strain into the previous nasal spray vaccine system.

  On November 9, 2021, South Africa detected a B.1.1.529 variant of the new coronavirus from a case sample for the first time.

On November 26, the World Health Organization defined it as the fifth "variant of concern" and named it the Greek letter O (Omicron, sound "Omicron") mutant.

As of November 28, South Africa, Israel, Belgium, Italy, the United Kingdom, Austria, and Hong Kong, China, have monitored the input of the mutant strain.

(Reporter Fan Siyi produced Xu Miaoqiao)

Editor in charge: 【Luo Pan】