Researchers at Boston University have created a new variant of Covid in the laboratory. A variant “deadly in 80% of cases”. Is this really the case? We take stock.
An article ignites the powder
This is an article from DailyMail of October 17 which set fire to the powder. The British daily then headlined “Boston University creates a new mutant strain of the Covid-19 which has a 80% mortality rate.” Researchers would haveadded Omicron’s spike protein to the original Wuhan strain“. “Eight out of ten mice infected with the strain created in the laboratory died in the laboratory of Boston University”, details the popular newspaper.
Untangling the real from the fake
As of October 18, theBoston University contradicted reports from the Daily Mail, calling the article “false and inaccurate “. The American researchers piloted a study whose aim was to compare the Spike protein of the Omicron variant to the original strain. In order to observe these differences, the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) team used an animal model: the mouse.
Why are we talking about a lethal variant?
The species of mouse selected by the researchers is very sensitive to the Covid virus. The mouse have succumbed eight times out of ten to original virus. In contrast, “all animals infected with Omicron survived.” A major step forward for the researchers because “these results indicate that the Spike protein is not the main determinant of the pathogenicity of Omicron in mice”.