Investigating Omicron’s fitness and replicative potential compared with earlier SARS-CoV-2 variants using organoids

Over 5.59 million people have died due to the devastating coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which is still wreaking havoc on worldwide health systems. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causal agent, was discovered in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. During the first months of human circulation, SARS-CoV-2 was genetically and antigenically reasonably stable, but variants that were more transmissible and/or evaded immunity developed in late 2020.

Study: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron efficiently infects human airway, but not alveolar epithelium. Image Credit: mohdizuan/Shutterstock

The Alpha variant (clade B.1.1.7) was the first variant of concern (VOC), and it became the dominant variant internationally in early 2021. The Delta variant (clade…

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