According to South African scientists’ findings, Omicron infection increases neutralising immunity against the Delta version of the coronavirus, which is more common in the country.
According to the findings of the study, which was not peer-reviewed, those who were infected with Omicron, particularly those who were vaccinated, gained greater immunity to the Delta version of the virus.
The study included 33 patients who were infected with the Omicron strain in South Africa, both those who had been vaccinated and those who had not.
While the scientists discovered that the neutralisation of Omicron virus grew 14-times over the course of 14 days following enrolment, they also discovered that the neutralisation of Delta virus increased 4.4 fold over the same period.
It is possible that the rise in Delta variant neutralisation observed in individuals who have been infected with Omicron will result in Delta’s potential to re-infect those individuals, according to the scientists.
“If Omicron is less pathogenic than it appears to be based on our experience in South Africa,” said Alex Sigal, a professor at the Africa Health Research Institute in Johannesburg, in a tweet on Monday. “This will help push Delta out,” he added.
According to a previous South African study, people infected with the Omicron coronavirus variant have a lower risk of hospitalisation and severe disease when compared to those infected with the Delta coronavirus variant, though the authors speculate that some of this is due to high population immunity in the country.
The Omicron variety, which was initially discovered in November in southern Africa and Hong Kong, has since spread throughout the world and is threatening to overrun hospitals and cause travel disruptions this holiday week.