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Posted 11/17/2022 by Centralbiohub

Find out more about COVID-19 variants

Find out more about COVID-19 variants

What exactly is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a mutated strain of coronaviruses called SARS-CoV-2 that emerged in 2019. It is a droplet and aerosol infection that is highly contagious, affecting millions of people across the globe. When an infected person coughs, speaks, sneezes, laughs, breathes, etc., the viral particles are released into the air and spread infections to surrounding people. Due to the ever-increasing infection rates, in March 2020, COVID-19 was declared a worldwide pandemic.

More about SARS-CoV-2 variants

SARS-CoV-2 undergoes spontaneous mutations, just like other RNA viruses. Potentially new variants can alter the virulence and infectiousness of the parent virus. Furthermore, genomic changes may improve the virus' resistance to adaptive immune responses induced by prior SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination. As a result, the viral evolution might cause reinfection more likely or make vaccinations less effective. There is proof that some SARS-CoV-2 variants are less susceptible to specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that are being evaluated for both prevention and treatment.

Despite several efforts to curb the infection transmission and active immunization campaigns, COVID-19 is still an ongoing global pandemic, with infection rates increasing in daily statistics. Let us take a close look at the evolution of new virus variants. Since 2020, the coronavirus has changed constantly and given rise to new prominent viral strains, namely, Alpha, beta, delta, and omicron. Since the beginning of the pandemic, all the evolved corona viral strains have been designated in Greek letters by scientists for better characterization and distinguishing. Let us focus on these virus variants.

Alpha variants: Alpha first surfaced in Great Britain in November 2020. The earliest of the widely reported variations was Alpha (B.1.1.7). Infections peaked in December of that same year after It quickly spread throughout the world. I was a predominant variant in the United States in late 2020, where the CDC designated it as a variant of concern. Then, as the more combative Delta variety emerged, the proportion of the Alpha variant started to decrease dramatically.

Beta variants: By the end of 2020, this coronavirus variant, known as B.1.351, had been discovered in South Africa and had spread to other nations. Due to its numerous mutations and propensity to elude antibodies, experts have expressed concern. However, the beta virus was not so common in the US. According to the CDC, Beta was more than 50% more contagious than the original coronavirus.

Delta variants: The Delta variant of the virus was even more virulent and one of the most prominent viruses that were declared as 'Variant of Concern' by WHO. This virus variant was first identified in India in late 2020 and became the most dangerous one among all variants.  

Omicron variants: The first Omicron strain (BA.1) was discovered in South Africa and Botswana in late November 2021 and spread fast to neighboring nations. By December, Omicron was responsible for a sharp increase in the number of daily cases in the US. Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are highly contagious with fast transmission. Furthermore, one of those sub variants, BA.5, represented more than 50% of instances in the United States by the beginning of July 2022, making it the predominant variant in this nation. However, studies propel across the globe to learn more about omicron and its sub-variants.

Procure COVID-19 Variant Samples from Word class biobanks

To accelerate ongoing research on COVID-19, Central BioHub, the world's most sophisticated biospecimen marketplace, teamed up with international biobanks. We have full access to high-quality human biospecimens intended for COVID-19 research. We know that studies on human biospecimens help the researchers to understand the biology, traits, degree of transmissibility, and other aspects of the newly evolved coronavirus strain. In light of this, Central BioHub provides thousands of human serum, plasma, saliva, nasopharyngeal (NP), and oropharyngeal (OP) swabs. The samples are obtained from patients with SARS-CoV-2 infections of the alpha, beta, delta, and omicron variant. The samples are well-tested for SARS-CoV-2 using rapid antigen testing and CE-marked RT-qPCR and preserved at our partner's biobanks with strict quality controls. Moreover, the samples are available for online purchase through Central BioHub’s online marketplace. Hurry up! Check out our inventory and place your orders, quotes, and reservations online: https://centralbiohub.de/biospecimens/covid-19/variants

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