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Coronavirus Outbreak

JN.1 Covid Variant Has Increased Transmissibility And Immune Escape: Lancet Study

The study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, sheds light on the variant’s potential to become the dominant lineage and alerts the global health community

JN.1 Covid Variant Has Increased Transmissibility And Immune Escape: Lancet Study
JN.1 COVID sub-variant has sparked global concern due to its distinct genetic features and heightened infectivity

New Delhi: The JN.1 variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus not only spreads easily but also seems to resist immunity, according to a study that emphasizes the urgent need for strategies to address its threat to public health. The emergence JN.1 has sparked global concern due to its distinct genetic features and heightened infectivity. Carrying more than 30 spike protein mutations, including the hallmark Leu455Ser, JN.1 exhibits substantial potential for immune evasion.

Researchers from The University of Tokyo, Japan, used genomic surveillance data from across France, the UK, and Spain, uncovering novel findings regarding the virological properties of JN.1.

Also Read: “People With Comorbidities Should Get COVID Test Done,” Says Dr Rajesh Chawla From Apollo Hospital

The study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, sheds light on the variant’s potential to become the dominant lineage and alerts the global health community.

The researchers found that the reproductive number of JN.1 was found to surpass that of its counterparts in the three countries studied, suggesting a potential global dominance in the near future.

Reproduction number is the expected number of cases directly generated by one case in a population where all individuals are susceptible to infection.

By the end of November 2023, JN.1 had already surpassed HK.3 variant in both France and Spain, marking a significant shift in the landscape of SARS-CoV-2 variants, the researchers said.

Of concern to public health is that JN.1 not only spreads easily but also seems to resist immunity, they said.

Initial experiments using the blood of rodents infected or vaccinated against BA.2.86 showed that those rodents demonstrated an effective neutralisation of both BA.2.86 and JN.1, which is called a cross-reactive immune response, the researchers said.

However, on comparing breakthrough infections in people where the virus overcomes immunity, JN.1 proved more challenging to neutralise than BA.2.86 variant, they said.

Particularly notable was the finding that JN.1 strongly resisted the XBB.1.5 vaccine, making it one of the most immune-evading variants discovered so far, according to the researchers. Professor Kei Sato from The University of Tokyo said,

Our findings will help people understand the risk of the SARS-CoV-2 JN.1 variant, including its potential to cause epidemic surges around the world.

The study underscores the importance of continued vigilance in monitoring and understanding the evolving landscape of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Also Read: WHO Terms Covid Strain JN.1 ‘Variant Of Interest’

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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