a combination of mutations could become an evolutionary advantage of the virus

Carsten Watzl, secretary general of the German Society for Immunology, said this was not only possible but also likely, and mentioned similar findings that had been published in other cases.

The virus can multiply for weeks in people with weakened immune systems, Watzlas said.

“Single mutations may recur in the process, which may not give the virus any advantage, but they will continue to multiply because the immune system is unable to control them,” he said.

He said this could lead to additional mutations, a combination of which could be an evolutionary advantage of the virus.

Compared to the original strain of coronavirus, which first appeared in Wuhan, China, omicron has an unusually large number of about 30 amino acid changes in the needle protein alone.

Some of these mutations are known to be associated with increased infectivity and the ability to bypass the immune system, but according to Watzlo, it is still unclear what effect this particular combination of mutations will have.

Many people living with HIV in Africa do not receive proper treatment and their bodies are severely debilitated, Watzlas said.

According to him, in order to prevent the spread of widely mutated variants such as omicrons, it would be important to identify infected individuals with immunodeficiency and isolate them until they become non-infectious.

“Because even if the virus mutates greatly in the human body, the transmission of the mutated virus is actually dangerous,” he said.

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