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Two Omicron sub-variants found in Ctg

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 29 October, 2022 12:00 AM
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CHATTOGRAM: The researchers of Chittagong University (CU) detected two new sub-variants 'XBB' and 'BM.1.1.1' of Omicron variant among the coronavirus patients in Chattogram.

The researchers of Next Generation Sequencing, Research and Innovation Laboratory (NRICh) of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology department under the university carried out a genome sequencing of Covid-19 positive patients in Chattogram for the last three months.

The research team was led by Disease Biology and Molecular Epidemiology Research Group Head Dr Adnan Mannan and NRICh Head Researcher Professor Dr SM Rafiqul Islam. Child Health Research Foundation also assisted in the research. Dr Adnan Mannan said the patients were mostly infected by 'BA.2' and 'BA.5' variants in August and September.

But, new variants 'XBB' and 'BM.1.1.1' were detected in the month of October, he said. The researcher also informed that among the patients in October, 60 per cent were infected by XBB while 40 per cent by BM.1.1.1. 

The XBB infected patients were usually aged between 20 to 35 years, he said.

Mentionable, XBB spread quickly in 17 countries, including United States of America (USA), Singapore, India, Australia and Hong Kong, till now in a short span of time.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), XBB is the most contagious type among the sub-variants of Omicron.

Antibodies fail to stand against this sub-variant in most of the cases. If XBB continues to spread in this way, another coronavirus wave will make its way worldwide, health experts and microbiologist feared.

Sources said genome sequencing and variant identification of various variants and sub-variants of Sars Cov-2 will be carried out in the NRICh, being patronised by Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) of Switzerland.