A study by scientists at South African shows, an infection by the Omicron variant enhances neutralizing immunity against the Delta variant.
The yet-to-be peer-reviewed article, found that people who were infected with Omicron, especially those who were vaccinated, developed enhanced immunity to the Delta variant.
The study had enrolled 33 vaccinated and unvaccinated people who were infected with the Omicron variant in South Africa. The researchers found that the neutralization of Omicron increased 14 times over 14 days after the enrolment; they also found that there was a 4.4 fold increase against the Delta variant.
“The increase in Delta variant neutralization in individuals infected with Omicron may result in decreased ability of Delta to re-infect those individuals,” said the scientists.
According to Alex Sigal, a professor at the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa, if Omicron was less pathogenic as it looked from the South African experience, “this will help push Delta out”.
The Omicron variant, first detected in southern Africa and Hong Kong in November 2021, has spread worldwide and has threatened to overwhelm hospitals and disrupt travel plans this holiday season.