New XBB variant: should we be worried about this new strain?

New XBB variant: should we be worried about this new strain?
The researchers are analyzing the new XBB variant. © adobe stores

A new variant of Covid-19 has just been identified. This is the variant called XBB. Scientists are watching it closely. What do we know about this new variant? Has it been detected in France?

Five mutations for this new XBB variant

The XBB variant is “resulting from a combination of two sublineages of Omicron”, explains in the columns of The Midi Dispatch Professor Antoine Flahault. He is an epidemiologist and director of the Global Health Institute of the Faculty of Medicine of Geneva. The XBB variant is endowed with five mutations in order to “get around more theacquired immunity to counter the attachment of the virus to our cells”, specifies the researcher.

Where was the XBB variant identified?

the variant XBB has been identified with Singapore, where it becomes a dominant strain. “In Australiait now represents 5% of samples sequenced, with very rapid and very recent growth”, worries Professor Antoine Flahault to the Toulouse newspaper. Cases have been identified in UNITED STATES and in Europe. It is not yet present in France.

Are vaccines effective against XBB?

The vaccines against the Covid are efficient against severe forms of this variant, assures the Swiss immunologist. “Cell-mediated immunity – the one that allows our body to fight against severe forms of Covid – is not, to our knowledge, bypassed by these new variants,” he says.

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