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Virological characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 BA.2.86 variant

  • Tamura, Tomokazu
  • Mizuma, Keita
  • Nasser, Hesham
  • Deguchi, Sayaka
  • Padilla-Blanco, Miguel
  • Oda, Yoshitaka
  • Uriu, Keiya
  • Tolentino, Jarel E.M.
  • Tsujino, Shuhei
  • Suzuki, Rigel
  • Kojima, Isshu
  • Nao, Naganori
  • Shimizu, Ryo
  • Wang, Lei
  • Tsuda, Masumi
  • Jonathan, Michael
  • Kosugi, Yusuke
  • Guo, Ziyi
  • Hinay, Alfredo A.
  • Putri, Olivia
  • And 17 more
Publication Date
Feb 14, 2024
Kyoto University Research Information Repository
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オミクロンBA.2.86株のウイルス学的特性の解明. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2024-01-30. / A comprehensive systematic characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 strain BA.2.86. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2024-01-31. / In late 2023, several SARS-CoV-2 XBB descendants, notably EG.5.1, were predominant worldwide. However, a distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineage, the BA.2.86 variant, also emerged. BA.2.86 is phylogenetically distinct from other Omicron sublineages, accumulating over 30 amino acid mutations in its spike protein. Here, we examined the virological characteristics of the BA.2.86 variant. Our epidemic dynamics modeling suggested that the relative reproduction number of BA.2.86 is significantly higher than that of EG.5.1. Additionally, four clinically available antivirals were effective against BA.2.86. Although the fusogenicity of BA.2.86 spike is similar to that of the parental BA.2 spike, the intrinsic pathogenicity of BA.2.86 in hamsters was significantly lower than that of BA.2. Since the growth kinetics of BA.2.86 are significantly lower than those of BA.2 both in vitro and in vivo, the attenuated pathogenicity of BA.2.86 is likely due to its decreased replication capacity. These findings uncover the features of BA.2.86, providing insights for control and treatment.

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