Experts say that the Omicron strain of the new coronavirus appeared due to many mutations overlapping with a virus of a strain other than the Delta strain in areas where genetic analysis was not sufficiently performed.

The genes involved in the growth of the virus are also mutated, and it is necessary to investigate in detail whether they are likely to become severe when infected.

Mutation of "spiked protein" About 3 times as much as Delta strain

Professor Kenjiro Kozaki's group at Keio University School of Medicine is conducting research to analyze the origin, changes, and effects of mutant viruses based on the genetic information data of viruses registered from research institutes around the world.



When Professor Kozaki analyzed the changes in the virus, it is thought that the Omicron strain appeared due to many mutations overlapping the virus of a strain different from the alpha strain and the delta strain in the area where the gene analysis was not sufficiently performed. It has not been detected until, and it is unknown where it was born.



In addition, in the Omicron strain, there are about 30 mutations in the protrusion "spiked protein" on the surface that serves as a foothold for infection, which is about three times that of the Delta strain, and genes related to enzymes required for virus growth. It is said that it is necessary to investigate in detail whether it becomes severe or stays mild when infected.

Professor Kozaki said, "The Omicron strain was first reported by the South African research institute, but the origin is not clear because there is data showing that there was a community-acquired infection in Europe in advance. We need to analyze how it affects sexuality. "

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