Omicron sub-lineage BA.1

In less than two months three sub lineages of Omicron has been detected. Omicron is a COVID-19 mutant variant. The Pango lineage of Omicron called the B.1.1.529 was declared as Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization. This has now spawned (reproduced or produced) into three sub types called BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3.

What is sub – lineage?

Lineage means a genetically related group or the one that derived from a common ancestor. For instance, a cousin holds lineage. Sub lineage is virus having different sequence. Or a different mutation. Viruses generally avoid to mutate as it obscures it reproduction and induces error into its genetic code.

What is BA.1?

All the four lineages such as B.1.1.529, BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3 belong to the Pango lineage. The BA.1 accounted to more than 99% of the samples submitted to GISAID.

What about BA.2 and BA.3?

There are very less number of BA.2 instances. And there are no occurrence of BA.3 sub lineage in India as of now.

What are the challenges?

The Omicron variant has more advantage over Delta. The doubling time of Omicron is two to three days.

What is the difference between mutation, lineage and variant?

Mutation: It is a single change in the genetic code of the virus. Mutations happen frequently. It changes the characteristics of the virus very rarely

Lineage: The lineages have a common ancestor.

Variant: It is a genetic code that contains one or more mutations. They are classified as Variant of Concern and Variant of Interest.

Why is BA.1 the one to watch out for?

The BA.1 variant is spreading just like the Delta variant. The sub lineages of BA.1 is increasing as compared to the original Omicron strain. BA.1 is the well-travelled member of the B.1.1.529 family.




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