COVID-19 News: China’s BF.7.14 Spawns New BF.7.14.1 Sublineage. Newer More Immune Evasive BA.5 Sublineages Will Lead The Next Reinfection Onslaughts!
: One of China’s predominant circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants ie BA.7.14 has spawned a new sublineage BA.7.14.1 with spike mutation V83F and also open reading frame mutations ORF1ab:I1203V, ORF1ab:K2901T and ORF3a:A98V.
The new BF.7.14.1 sublineage is a short long branch with four AA mutation: S:V83F in the same residue where the XBB recombinant variant has the spike mutation V83A plus one AA mutation for ORF3a , NSP3 and NSP4 proteins. Unconfirmed preliminary reports from physicians and medical researchers in China suggest that it is more pathogenic and increases risk of disease severity! Based on past data on what mutations in the N proteins and certain OR proteins can do in terms of driving disease severity, there might be some credibility to these claims pending proper research data.
This adds to the repertoire of East Asian variants that are wreaking havoc not only in China but also in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and also in many parts of South East Asia which comprises the BF.7.14, BF.7.15, BF.5.1, BF.5.2, BA.5.2.48, BA.5.2.49, BA.5.2.50 and BA.5.1.32.
Thailand Medical News believes in the hypothesis that various BA.5 sublineages are evolving at a rapid rate than compared from those of the BA.2 or more specifically the BA.2.75 sublineages and are not only being more immune evasive but also becoming slightly pathogenic and also possessing enhanced tropism to specific cell types, tissues and organs particularly the brain and CNS, lungs, liver, heart, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract as they are also roping in other host receptors and binding methods.
Already a past study has shown that the BA.5 variant is more neurovirulent!
What is also more important is that we also believe that past infections with the earlier BA.5 subvariants or even the bivalent boosters will offer no protection against the newer BA.5 sublines including all these various new East Asian variants we have been mentioning and also newer sublineages from the BA.5 family such as BE, BF, BQ, BW, DF, DJ and many new BA.5.1 and BA.5.2 sub-lineages due to immunity imprinting!
Hence, we can expect more reinfections and immunity imprinting effects, with increasing risk for disease severity and mortality!
Proper research data is however needed to validate our hypothesis and claims though one study involving BA.5 antiserum samples by researchers from Netherlands has found that despite the antigenic similarities between BA.5 and BQ.1.1 variants, there is little evidence for increased neutralization of BQ.1.1 by BA.5 bivalent vaccines, potentially due to immunological imprinting!
Furthermore a German study that was covered in a previous COVID-19 News
coverage also showed the immunity imprinting also prevented the bivalent boosters from being effective in neutralizing the BQ.1.1 variant which is a subvariant from the BA.5 family.
It has already been known that the even the BA.5 variant is efficient in evading any immunity by previous Omicron variants.
An even bizarre and seeming ridiculous hypothesis of ours is that even infections with these newer BA.5 sublineages will not offer protection from getting reinfected again with the very same sublineage! We strongly believe that future studies will validate this anomaly that we are predicting!
The new BA.5 sublineages will lead the next onslaught in most parts of the world except in the United Kingdom that might experience a new surge that is just starting involving some new BA.2.75 sublineages, but only for a while before they are superseeded by newer BA.5 sublineages.
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