Corona is no longer an issue for most of us. Researchers are now sounding the alarm about a new corona variant: Acrux – XBB.2.3. is on the rise.
Munich – The Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus continues to mutate. It’s in his nature. XBB.2.3, also known as Acrux, is now on scientists’ radar. The new corona variant is said to be particularly contagious. Researchers are worried. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently put XBB.2.3 on its watch list.
Acrux – XBB.2.3.: New corona variant apparently particularly contagious
“The variant is probably the fastest of the currently circulating XBB clan,” tweeted the Indian physician Vipin Vashishtha, who is also a member of the WHO vaccine group, at the end of April. XBB.2.3 has the potential to dethrone the Arcturus variant (XBB.1.16). Since May 17, 2023, Acrux has been under six other corona variants observation of the WHO (variants under monitoring, VUM) (status: May 25, 2023).
|octopuses||Variant of interest, VOI|
|acterus||Variant of interest, VOI|
Acrux is already circulating in 53 countries. The first cases appeared in India in December 2022 and have been increasing significantly since March. In Germany, XBB.2.3 has not yet played a role. Acrux has not yet appeared in the weekly reports of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). However, that can change.
“Arcux comes with a highly evasive mutation, S:T478K, from the deadly Delta variant,” Vashishtha tweeted. Canadian expert T. Rayan Gregory is also concerned. “It’s likely that alongside XBB.1.5 (Kraken), XBB.1.9.1 (Hyperion), and XBB.1.6 (Acterus), you’ll hear more about another XBB descendant, XBB.2.3. For easier communication we nickname it ‘Acrux’, like the star.”
Acrux is the brightest star in the constellation of the Southern Cross. The name is simply made up of Alpha and Crux. Now the name Acrux shines for the newest star in the Corona sky.
XBB.2.3: Is the new Coroana variant Acrux dangerous?
The new XXB coronavirus variant is a subtype of the omicron variant. In addition, Acrux is a recombination of two omicron sublineages (BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75).
Acrux could be more contagious than its predecessor Acterus (XBB.1.6) and according to Indian medical scientist Vashishtha possesses four mutations:
- Spike mutations: S:D253G and S:P521S
- ORF mutations: ORF1a:G2091S and ORF7a:A13V
- Beyond XBB.2, Acrux has spike mutations P521S and S486P
These mutations can probably trick the immune system and increase the number of infections. Whether Acrux will actually become a problem remains to be seen. Again and again, sub-variants are spreading in countries, but not catching on in others. And, even if XBB.2.3 is more contagious, the subtype is not necessarily more dangerous. So far there is no evidence for XXB variants to have a stronger pathogenic ability compared to the predecessors of the family.
Acturus and “Kraken”: Corona variants are currently “variants of interest” according to the WHO
In Germany, the omicron recombinant XBB.1.5 – also called octopus – is currently available according to the RKI weekly report dominant (80 percent). According to the European disease agency ECDC, the subline XBB.1.5 poses a low risk for the general population, writes the RKI. “As in the previous weeks, no increase in the severity of the disease is observed for the sublines listed with increasing spread.”
XBB.1.5 has already landed on the next level among the corona viruses at WHO. The variant is classified by the authorities in Geneva as a “variant of interest” (VOI – variants of interest), as is Arcturus (XBB.1.16).
The latest Omicron subvariant XBB.2.3. with their additional mutations is now observed. Because, even if a corona infection is apparently harmless, it can have serious consequences for health. According to a recent study, children have a 57 percent increased risk of developing diabetes after an infection. (ml)
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