The global epidemic has added more variables.
At present, another new coronavirus mutant virus XBB.1.16 has attracted global attention. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of XBB.1.16 infection cases in 29 countries including India, Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia is showing a rapid increase. In addition, according to the latest situation released by the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from April 7 to April 13, 124 cases of local variant strains (a total of 21 branches) were newly detected, and 15 cases of XBB.1.16 were detected for the first time. and 2 cases of XBB.1.16.1.
From the perspective of growth momentum, XBB.1.16 does seem to have a “growth advantage” over other new crown variants. According to a recent study by the University of Tokyo, the transmission efficiency of XBB.1.16 is about 1.17 to 1.27 times higher than that of XBB.1 and XBB.1.5 strains. This may indicate that this mutant strain may become the next major mutant virus in the world in the future.
In addition, the latest research progress of the vaccine giant has also attracted attention. On April 16, local time, American vaccine giants Moderna and Merck said that about 79% of patients with advanced skin cancer who received the combination therapy of Moderna’s mRNA-based cancer vaccine and Merck’s key immune drug Keytruda died after 18 months. No recurrence.
The new “poison king” is coming?
Recently, another new coronavirus mutant virus XBB.1.16 has been raging in many countries around the world. XBB.1.16 infection cases have seen a rapid increase in 29 countries ranging from India to Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
At present, the virus has accounted for more than 21% of the new crown cases in the south-central United States, and has caused new crown cases in India to return to a new high in the past eight months. It may become the next major variant virus to be faced by the world.
According to the World Health Organization, XBB.1.16 was first discovered on January 23 this year, and it was listed as a “new variant virus under surveillance (VUM)” on March 22. XBB.1.16 is a recombination or hybrid variant of BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75, both of which are descendants of Omicron variety BA.2.
According to WHO data, although XBB.1.5 is still dominant globally, the number of infected cases of XBB.1.16 is rising rapidly.
From a global perspective, the proportion of XBB.1.16 to the global new crown cases has risen from about 0.21% at the end of February to about 3.96% at the end of March.
Under the rapid spread of XBB.1.16, there was another “massive surge” in the number of new crown cases in India, prompting the Indian government to reinstate the mandatory mask order.
According to the latest data disclosed by the Ministry of Health of India, the number of new cases of new crown in India continued to rise last week, which has increased for 5 consecutive days. In the 24 hours as of last Friday, the number of new cases reached 11,109, reaching nearly 8 months The single-day high since.
According to local media reports, the number of children under the age of 12 has increased, along with the extremely rare condition of conjunctivitis.
At the same time, XBB.1.16 is also spreading in the United States. Up to now, at least 26 states in the United States have reported cases of XBB.1.16 infection.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from April 9 to April 15, XBB.1.16 is expected to account for 7.2% of all new crown cases in the United States. That figure was up sharply from 3.9 percent a week ago and 2.1 percent two weeks ago.
Although XBB.1.5 is currently the most dominant variant virus in the United States (estimated to account for 78.0% of all new crown case samples), XBB.1.16 has surpassed all other variant viruses and has become the second-ranked variant virus in the United States. It will surpass XBB.1.5 in the future.
Currently in the south-central United States, XBB.1.16 cases are increasing rapidly. Data show that XBB.1.16 has accounted for 21.3% of the new crown cases in the south-central United States (including Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas).
From the perspective of growth momentum, XBB.1.16 does seem to have a “growth advantage” over other existing new crown variants and sub-variants, especially in terms of infectivity.
A recent study by the University of Tokyo shows that the transmission efficiency of XBB.1.16 is about 1.17 to 1.27 times higher than that of XBB.1 and XBB.1.5 strains, which may indicate that this mutant strain may spread globally in the future.
The university’s test results also showed that XBB.1.16 is more likely to bind to human cells and enter the cells for infection, which may lead to faster transmission of XBB.1.16 in the human population. In addition, the variant has “strong resistance” to a variety of new crown antibodies.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s new crown technical lead, pointed out that XBB.1.16 is very similar in structure to XBB.1.5, and it has an additional mutation in the spike protein, which was tested in the laboratory. Studies have shown increased infectivity, as well as increased potential pathogenicity.
On April 15, the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the latest situation of the new coronavirus infection across the country.
Compared with the data released by the CDC on April 8, from April 7 to April 13, 124 cases (a total of 21 branches) of local key mutant strains were newly detected. Among them, CDC detected 15 cases of XBB.1.16 and 2 cases of XBB.1.16.1 for the first time. This shows that this mutant virus has also entered our country.
Despite the rapid spread of the new strain, XBB.1.16, reports so far have not shown that XBB.1.16 has resulted in an increase in hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions, or deaths.
Recently, Maria Van Kerkhove, technical director of the World Health Organization’s new coronary pneumonia, pointed out at a press conference that despite the surge in cases in Southeast Asia in recent weeks, the World Health Organization reported that the number of deaths in the region has dropped by 6% in the past four weeks.
This means that it is currently impossible to determine the degree of risk XBB.1.16 poses to public health.
Big news for the vaccine giant
The latest research progress of the vaccine giant has also attracted attention.
On April 16 local time, American vaccine giants Moderna and Merck said at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research that patients with advanced skin cancer, after receiving the combination therapy of Moderna’s mRNA-based cancer vaccine and Merck’s key immune drug Keytruda, have about Seventy-nine percent were recurrence-free after 18 months, compared with 62 percent of patients who received Merck’s Keytruda alone.
At the same time, during the experiment, the side effects of the vaccine are usually mild, such as fatigue and other reactions.
Keytruda is currently a commonly used adjuvant therapy for melanoma, which can reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. The mRNA vaccine can provide personalized treatment according to the characteristics of each patient’s cancer cells, and it is expected to provide new treatment opportunities for patients who have not received effective treatment in the past.
The purpose of individualized cancer vaccines is to help patients generate corresponding anti-tumor responses through vaccines designed according to the patient’s individualized tumor mutation category, thereby enhancing the immunity of cancer patients.
Media analysis pointed out that most of the current experimental cancer vaccines are aimed at treating cancer or preventing its recurrence, not preventing the occurrence of cancer. Rapid advances in immunotherapy, genome sequencing and artificial intelligence will accelerate the maturation of targeted cancer vaccines, oncologists say.
It is worth noting that this type of cancer vaccine is not a preventive vaccine in the traditional sense, but a therapeutic vaccine. If such a vaccine is successful, the therapy could be expanded to many more types of cancer.