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What role does cross-reactive immunity play in the spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants?

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In a recent study posted on medRxiv* Researchers used mathematical modeling to examine the effects of cross-reactive immunity from previous infections against a new variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and found that the new variant was widespread. investigated its potential to cause persistent infection or fade-out. .

Research: Impact of cross-reactive immunity on the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Image Credit: Lightspring/Shutterstock
study: Impact of cross-reactive immunity on emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variantsImage Credit: Lightspring/Shutterstock

Background

Whether an emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant has the potential to cause widespread infection in a population depends on two factors: introduction and invasion.a Also Variants are introduced into the host population through mutation or dispersal from another region. A variant then needs to infect many individuals in order to become established in the population. This is known as aggression.

Apart from increased contagiousness, one factor that influences the risk of new variant invasion is the level of background immunity generated by infection from previous variants. Mathematical models have been used during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to estimate the contagiousness and transmissibility of novel variants such as alpha, beta, and gamma, and the process of emergence of highly contagious new variants. was predicted.

Recent studies have demonstrated that humoral immunity derived from a combination of vaccines and previous infections is more effective in protecting against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. There are also conflicting results from other studies showing that immunity from previous infections is associated with increased severity during subsequent infections.

About research

In the present study, researchers used mathematical modeling to understand the impact of previous SARS-CoV-2 infections on the risk of new SARS-CoV-2 variants entering the population. Two viruses were considered in this study. novel SARS-CoV-2 variants and variants that previously infected the population and were antigenically related to the new variants.

In this study, we considered scenarios in which immunity from previous infections provided partial or complete protection against the novel variant, or was detrimental during infection with the novel variant. The researchers also investigated the role of introduction pathways in potential entry by novel variants.

This study used a simple mathematical model in which the viral infection duration follows an exponential distribution. Cross-reactive immunity levels were also assumed to be fixed for previously infected individuals. The authors believe that, in practice, epidemiological periods follow a gamma distribution and cross-reactive immunity is heterogeneous within populations. They aim to incorporate these factors into more complex mathematical models in future research.

result

Our results indicate that novel variants must be more infectious than previous variants to enter the host population if humoral immunity from previous infections is intact. Weak or partial immunity from previous infections does not prevent the establishment of new variants in the population. Partial cross-reactive immunity presents a large pool of susceptible individuals to be infected by the new variant.

On the other hand, even new mutants with low contagiousness can invade populations if previous infections facilitated subsequent infections. The authors cite several studies demonstrating these detrimental effects of previous infections.

Furthermore, the route of introduction of the novel variant also influences the probability of invasion. If the new variant disperses from another location, it is less likely that travelers carrying this variant were previously infected from an antigenically related variant. This makes it more likely that novel variants will enter the host population.Conversely, the new variant Also The immune status of the first person infected with this variant determines their entry into the population.

Conclusion

In summary, this study uses mathematical modeling to assess the impact of cross-reactive immunity derived from infection from previous antigenically related variants on invasion of host populations by new SARS-CoV-2 variants. understood.

This finding indicates that full cross-reactive immunity confers protection against infection and prevents invasion by new subspecies. Partial immunity makes a large portion of the population susceptible to new subspecies, increasing the likelihood of invasion. In contrast, even less contagious variants may colonize host populations if previous infections have made the population more susceptible to new variants.

This study highlights the importance of assessing cross-reactive immunity in preventing emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants from causing widespread and severe outbreaks of COVID-19.

*Important Notices

medRxiv publishes non-peer-reviewed, preliminary scientific reports and should not be considered conclusive, to guide clinical practice/health-related actions, or to be treated as established information .

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.news-medical.net/news/20220922/What-role-does-cross-reactive-immunity-play-in-the-spread-of-a-novel-SARS-CoV-2-variant.aspx

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