SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant

Written by: Solaris Diagnostics

Nurse wearing PPE suit or Medical workers in full protective gear takes sample from woman driver inside the car. Drive-thru test for Coronavirus COVID-19

A new SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, lineage B.1.1.529 was first detected in Botswanan on November 11, 2021, and South Africa on November 14, 2021. It is noted that Omicron has over 30 mutations, several of which (eg 69–70del, T95I, G142D/143–145del, K417N, T478K, N501Y, N655Y, N679K, and P681H) overlap with those in the alpha, beta, gamma or delta variants. Since this new variant has many mutations in a portion of the genome that can potentially increase infectivity and transmissibility, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. government have now characterized Omicron variants as a Variant of Concern (VOC).

Although Omicron is likely to be highly transmissible, it is not yet clear whether it has greater transmissibility than delta, although preliminary indications suggest that it is spreading rapidly against a backdrop of ongoing delta-variant transmission and high levels of natural immunity to the delta variant. The Covid-19 cases in the Gauteng province of South Africa show that the early doubling time in the fourth wave of Omicron variants is higher than that of the previous three waves.

References:
Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant: a new chapter in the COVID-19 pandemic – The Lancet
CDC Statement on B.1.1.529 (Omicron variant) | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC

Early epidemiological evidence suggests that cases are rising and that PCR tests with S-gene target failure are also rising. It is noted that the “S-gene target failure does not mean that Omicron is present” said Dr. Koirala. However, it may be a very useful screening tool that allows labs to prioritize those specimens for sequencing and confirmation for Omicron variants.

Solaris Diagnostics current Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test will be able to detect all the Variants of Concern including the Omicron variant and will test positive for current Covid-19 tests.


Benefits of Working with Solaris Diagnostics

Now you can provide patients with the quickest and most accurate diagnosis possible from our high-complexity, CLIA accredited laboratory. Choose Solaris Diagnostics for:

  • Simple collection
  • Results by 5:00 pm on the day the lab receives the specimen
  • Direct access to experienced scientific staff
  • Among the most personal customer service experiences in the industry

Our experts assist clinicians and health care providers in rapidly identifying the pathogens and underlying causes of disease. We know that fast and accurate diagnoses lead to better patient outcomes.

For more information call 844-550-0308 to speak with one of our staff. You may also use the form on our Contact Us page.

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