SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern: a review

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Submitted: May 22, 2022
Accepted: October 17, 2022
Published: October 25, 2022
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The virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) belongs to the genus Beta coronavirus and the family Coronaviridae. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a positive sense, non-segmented single-strand RNA virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. COVID-19 is now a worldwide pandemic. Globally, several newer variants have been identified; however, only a few of them are of concern (VOCs). VOCs differ in terms of infectivity, transmissibility, disease severity, drug efficacy, and neutralization efficacy by monoclonal antibodies, convalescent sera, or vaccines. VOCs reported from various parts of the world include B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), B.1.617/B.1.617.2 (Delta), P.1 (Gamma), and B.1.1.529 (Omicron). These VOCs are the result of mutations, with some based on spike proteins. Mutations may also cause molecular diagnostic tests to fail to detect the few VOCs, leading to a delayed diagnosis, increased community spread, and delayed treatment. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Covariant, Stanford variants database, and CINAHL from December 2019 to February 2022 using the following search terms: Variant of Concern, SARS-CoV-2, Omicron, etc. All types of research were chosen. All research methods were considered. This review discusses the various VOCs, as well as their mutations, infectivity, transmissibility, and neutralization efficacy.

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How to Cite

Sarkar, Malay, and Irappa Madabhavi. 2022. “SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern: A Review”. Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease 93 (3). https://doi.org/10.4081/monaldi.2022.2337.