Monday, 13 December 2021

Malevolent Designer News - It Looks Like The Divine Malevolence Could Have a Major Win with Omicron

Images of the Delta and Omicron variants from the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome, showing mutations compared to the original SARS CoV-2 spike
© Laurence SAUBADU
Vaccines and previous infection could offer some “stronger than basic” protection to Omicron, early study suggests - Taylor & Francis Newsroom

An early study by a Chinese research group could show that the ο variant of the SARS-Cov-2 virus could be something of a victory for Creationism's divine malevolence in its battle with medical science to ensure as many people as possible get sick and die from its coronavirus. The major finding of the study is that the neutralising capacity of antibodies produced by infection with the reference strain (D614G) is reduced 8.4 fold for Omicron, compared to only 1.2-4.5 fold decrease for earlier variant of concern, such as Alpha and Delta, and other variants of interest.

The study shows that vaccines, and previous infections offer some "stronger then basic" protection against Omicron but are by no means a complete protection against it and that even a third (booster) vaccination, while significantly increasing antibody levels, might not be sufficient to prevent significant illness, because the variant has 'significant capacity to evade [antibody] protection'. Their findings are published in the open access Taylor & Francis online journal, Emerging Microbes & Infections.

The team conducted serological tests using serum from 28 patients recovering from infection by the original (D614G) strain. According to information supplied by Taylor & Francis:
We found the large number of mutations of the Omicron variant did cause significant changes of neutralization sensitivity against people who had already had COVID, however, the average ED50 (protection level) against Omicron is still higher than the baseline, which indicated there is still some protection effect can be observed.

This study verifies the enhanced immune escape of Omicron variant, which sounds the alarm to the world and has important implications for the public health planning and the development of matching strategies

Youchun Wang, lead author
Senior Research Fellow
National Institutes for Food and Drug Control in China
The expert team of 11 scientists looked at 28 serum samples from patients recovering from the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. They tested these against in-vitro Omicron samples, as well as four other strains marked ‘of concern’ by the World Health Organization (such as Delta), and two variants marked as ‘of interest’.

[…]

The major caveat of this study is that it is in-vitro in nature and that it used pseudotyped (manufactured) viruses. However, previous studies have used in-virto as an established measure of “good correlation” and the current vaccine literature “has established that the in vitro neutralization assays are good predictors of vaccine protection efficacy and real-world vaccine effectiveness”. Therefore, the authors state, their data “may well predict the potential reduction of vaccine protection against the new Omicron variant”.
Importantly, the authors state that the booster vaccinations may increase antibody levels significantly and so offer enhanced protection against Omicron, even this protection may be compromised. This is important because it emphasises the need to get what additional protection the boosters give. Even if that's not perfect, it is currently the best protection we have pending the development of specific vaccines against the Omicron variant.

In the summary of their paper in Emerging Microbes & Infections, the authors say:
Summary
The emergence of Omicron has brought new challenges to fight against SARS-CoV-2. A large number of mutations in the Spike protein suggest that its susceptibility to immune protection elicited by the existing COVID-19 infection and vaccines may be altered. In this study, we constructed the pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron. The sensitivity of 28 serum samples from COVID-19 convalescent patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 original strain was tested against pseudotyped Omicron as well as the other viruses of concern (VOCs, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta) and viruses of interest (VOIs, Lambda, Mu). Our results indicated that the mean neutralization ED50 of these sera against Omicron decreased to 66,which is about 8.4 folds compared to the D614G reference strain (ED50 = 556), whereas the neutralization activity of other VOC and VOI pseudotyped viruses decreased only about 1.2-4.5 folds. The finding from our in vitro assay suggest that Omicron variant may lead to more significant escape from immune protection elicited by previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and perhaps even by existing COVID-19 vaccines.
Another important thing to note here is that these conclusions come from testing how well the first-line of defence - circulating antibodies - work against the Omicron variant. It does not measure how well the second line of defence - the mobilisation of T-cells - works, and long-term, even if Omicron can escape the antibody defence, how severe the resulting illness is and how quickly the virus is eliminated, depends on T-cell activity. The early indication is that T-cell mobilisation is as strong with Omicron as it is with Delta and earlier variants, and boosters vaccinations definitely result in enhanced T-cell production.

Intelligent [sic] Design Creationists, who dogmatically reject evolution as the explanation for these regular new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, now need to explain why the posulated supernatural malevolence that they worship is going to such lengths in its arms race with human medical science. Why is it so obsessed with making as many of us sick as possible with this nasty little creation, and how does this equate with the notion of an omnibenevolent god? Or is it all due to natural processes like evolution by natural selection, with no malevolent deities involved after all?

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