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Covid-19: New recombinant variant XJ, What do we know so far?

Covid Variant XE

April 11, 2022. | 4 Minutes read.

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With the increase in Covid cases in the USA, because of the BA.2 omicron subvariant, an average number of reported infections reached 41096 on Friday, and deaths and hospitalizations are still on the decline. 

At a time when testing efforts are waning, raises the possibility that the next major wave of the virus will be difficult to detect. How?.

Testing and viral sequencing are critical for quickly responding to new Covid outbreaks. Nonetheless, as the country attempts to recover from the pandemic, demand for lab-based testing has decreased and federal funding priorities have shifted.

. When it comes to testing, people are increasingly relying on at-home rapid tests. However, these findings are rarely reported, leaving public health officials with little information about how widespread the virus is.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, stated that, when it comes to coronavirus precautions, Americans must consider factors such as their age, vaccination status, and whether they live with vulnerable individuals.

Anthony Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, “This is not going to be eradicated and it’s not going to be eliminated,” “And what’s going to happen is that we’re going to see that each individual is going to have to make their calculation of the amount of risk that they want to take.”

Abraar Karan, a Stanford University infectious disease physician said, “There’s always more spread than we can detect.” 

Sars-coV-2, Omicron’s recombinant variants are on the rise. United Kingdom reported the XE variant, a recombinant variant of Omicron BA.1+BA.2. 

There are 1,179 XE sequences in the UK data as of April 5, 2022, with 1,125 XE cases in England. XJ recombinant variant not reported in the United Kingdom.

 WHO reported the XE variant as the “Most transmissible” variant, the variant which is “10% more transmissible” than currently circulating variants.

Because variants wane the effects of the vaccines, during the emergence of new variants you may need a booster or additional dose of vaccine to prevent yourself from sars-coV-2 virus infection.

At the end of March, several cases of Omicron XJ, the most recent variant, were discovered first in Finland. In Italy, a case has now been identified and validated. Thailand reported XE and XJ recombinant variants. According to experts, there is no evidence that the XJ is more dangerous at this point.

What is a recombinant XJ variant?

Variant XJ is a recombinant sub variant of Omicron’s BA.1 + BA.2. 

XJ variant is similar to the XE variant. According to experts, Omicron’s lineages “spread quickly but not make you severe”. A few cases were reported, but we don’t get much information about the XJ variant, More studies are needed to find out the effects of the XJ.

Variant XJ in Italy, Finland, and Thailand

Omicron strain of the Covid-19 virus, called XJ, has been isolated for the first time in Italy by a laboratory in Reggio Calabria.

 The variant is “equivalent to Xe”, the lab said.

At the end of March 2022, Finland reported XJ variants, there are eight potential BA.1/BA.2 recombinant sequences with epidemiological linkage were discovered. 

Thailand has confirmed the first Omicron XE and XJ cases. The Center for Medical Genomics, Ramathibodi Hospital, reported the discovery of XE, a mutant hybrid of the BA.1 and BA.2 variants. Simultaneously, an XJ case has been discovered, in a delivery driver diagnosed with Covid.

The man had been Vaccinated, Supakit Kirilak, the Department’s Director, stated: “It is most likely the XJ recombinant. Because of the nature of his job, he met a lot of people. As a result, he was vulnerable to infection.”

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What did Italy experts Say about the XJ variant?

According to Italy’s leading newspaper, the president of the Italian drug agency, Aifa, Virologist Giorgio Palù said, “We must not fear the recombinations of viruses belonging to sub-variants of the same strain, as is the case with the one called Xe”.

Matteo Bassetti,  Director of the San Polyclinic Martino di Genova – Infectious Diseases Clinic, said that The XJ, identified yesterday in Reggio Calabria, is nothing more than a recombination of the sub-variants of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2, and thus contains a small amount of both. 

But, once again, it must be done clearly and without unnecessary alarmism, the virus changes and evolves in the natural course of things, and there will always be variations and recombinations, as we have seen with many other viruses.

Massimo Ciccozzi, head of the Medical Statistics and Epidemiology Unit at the Campus Bio-Doctor of Rome, explains, “It is a ‘recombination’ not a variant of the Sars-Cov-2 virus” that isolated yesterday in Reggio Calabria, “The variant, in fact, is distinguished from another by one or more mutations. The recombinant form, on the other hand, is a ‘hybrid’ of two variants or two sub-variants – in this case Omicron 1 and 2 – in the same person “. 

According to Fabrizio Pregliasco, a virologist and professor at the State University of Milan. The Xj “recombination of the SarS-CoV-2 virus”, not to be confused with a variant “could only be a small variation. 

It takes some time and we need to put together a series, as we are doing for the Xe, the English one, which has a thousand isolations. At this moment, therefore, the Xj must not arouse any alarm, even if attention and the need for further study are certainly needed. 

Walter Ricciardi, professor of hygiene and preventive medicine at Catholic University and advisor to Health Minister Roberto Speranza, explains, “The recombination Xj worries us, it combines Omicron 1 and Omicron 2 and this means that the virus continues to evolve to be more and more contagious. 

 Furthermore, we do not yet know, substantially, what the new symptoms will be. New symptoms are appearing such as dizziness. “

Omicron’s Sublineages X, sequences recorded up to “XS” sequence in Github.

 Variant XB has been found mainly in the United States of America( 2451 sequences) not present after August 11, 2021,  

In the recent recombinants, XE was found more transmissible, other recombinants were not included in the talk of the town list.

See you soon with an article with a detailed analysis of Sars-coV-2 Variants.

Stay Safe! Stay Healthy.

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