AN OVERVIEW OF THE SARS-COV-2 MUTATIONAL PROFILE IN RELATION TO VARIANT OF CONCERNS (VOC): A NARRATIVE REVIEW

Main Article Content

Ali A. Rabaan
Jeehan H. Alestad
Muhammad A. Halwani
Mohammed Garout
Wadha A. Alfouzan
David Chinaecherem Innocent
Hibah A. Alzayer
Qasim S. Alkhaleefah
Sana A. Alshaikh
Salma AlBahrani
Yousef N. Alhashem
Tarek Sulaiman
Hind S. Bugshan
Kovy Arteaga-Livias
Shawqi A Almushrif
Maha A. Al-Mozaini
Amal H. Alfaraj

Keywords

COVID-19, Corona virus, Mutant, Omicron, Pandemic

Abstract

The current review provides an overview of SARS-CoV-2 variants and mutations that are of interest. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has affected the whole world at a significant influence on all levels. Variants of concern (VOC) of SARS-CoV-2 are more transmissible, with the potential to increase infection severity and reduce vaccination efficacy. To date, seven varieties of concern (VOCs) have emerged from the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the COVID-19 pandemic: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda, Omicron and Mu. In relation to VOCs, there is strong agreement that developing a more effective COVID-19 vaccine is the most important way to push the COVID-19 pandemic to endemic phase. The rapid development of vaccine candidates and beginning of vaccination trials is the consequence of an extraordinary scientific effort and worldwide collaboration. Apart from the vaccination as a preventive measure, several antibodies are being tested or developed as treatment options for COVID-19. But it is important to anticipate whether the new emerging VOCs will remain receptive to antibody therapy or vaccines when they emerge. There is a possible expectation that the worldwide immunization campaign and treatment options will put the COVID-19 pandemic to an endemic era. However, still there are questions regarding what kind of long-term effects the virus and its VOCs will have on humans. Pockets of susceptible individuals and waning immunity after infection or vaccination and recovery, changes in the virus through antigenic drift that decreases the protection, and re-entries from zoonotic reservoirs may all contribute to COVID-19 persistence as an endemic virus, possibly with seasonal epidemic peaks.

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