No announcement yet.

Here’s What We Know About Omicron XE — The New Covid Variant Found In The U.K.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Here’s What We Know About Omicron XE — The New Covid Variant Found In The U.K.

    Apr 5, 2022, 01:41pm EDT
    Robert Hart

    A new Covid-19 variant that combines two different omicron strains has been identified in the United Kingdom, and it could be the fastest-spreading Covid variant yet, according to early data from British public health officials and the World Health Organization, though experts warn it is too soon to determine if or how much of a threat the variant might be.


    - The variant, called XE, was first detected in England in mid-January, according to the U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA), and has been confirmed in more than 600 cases in England since, less than 1% of virus samples analyzed during that time.

    - As of March 22, 763 samples of XE had been identified in the U.K., and a very limited number of cases have reportedly been found in China and Thailand.

    - XE is a recombinant virus—effectively a combination of genetic material from two or more different viruses—containing elements of the original omicron strain, BA.1, and the more infectious BA.2 subvariant, also known as “stealth omicron.”

    - Early data from the UKHSA and WHO suggests the XE variant could be around 10% more transmissible than the BA.2 omicron subvariant, already the most contagious Covid variant and one of the most contagious diseases in human history.

    - Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for UKHSA, said more data will be needed to confirm whether XE has a “true growth advantage,” as it has shown a “variable growth rate” so far over the time it has been monitored.

    - There is also insufficient evidence to draw any conclusion on transmissibility, severity or vaccine effectiveness, Hopkins said, adding that the UKHSA will continue to monitor the situation “closely.” ...
    Early data suggests the variant, which combines BA.1 and BA.2 omicron subvariants, could be 10% more transmissible than the highly infectious “stealth” omicron, the most infectious form of Covid known.

  • #2
    Is There a New COVID Variant? Omicron XE Explained

    4/5/22 AT 7:46 AM EDT

    ... XE is known as a recombinant, meaning it is essentially a mixture of two different viruses or variants with characteristics of both. Specifically, XE is a mixture of the two Omicron variant sub-types BA.1 and BA.2.

    Recombinants occur when a person is infected with two different viruses, such as variants of COVID, at the same time, causing the viruses to mix when they replicate.

    ... XE is among three recombinants to have been named by researchers recently, with the others being XD and XF. The latter two are mixtures of Omicron and Delta which do not appear to have spread as much as XE. XE and XF have been found in the U.K., while XD has been found in other countries in Europe. ...

    Experts have told Newsweek why XE does not warrant concern, particularly amid the spread of Omicron BA.2.


    • #3
      XE takes the first about 9000 nucleotides from BA.1 and the rest from BA.2 straightforward recombination,
      one of the first things to try in a lab

      weekly at cog-UK : 2,8,18,49,90,129,135,225,313,302,155,78,59
      = 28,123,232,642,1191,2027,2340,3027,3868,4585,4865, 5467,,6692 per million sequences

      xe:s14599T,s05386G,s03241T,d065133,102710T,101887I ,100856R,

      I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
      my current links: ILI-charts:


      • #4
        bump this