So, exactly how worried should we be about the XBB.1.5 Variant? An infectious disease expert explains
Parade, January 12, 2023
The XBB variants are derived from the recombination of two strains of the BA.2 lineage of omicron (an earlier dominant strain), Dr. Vineet Menachery, assistant professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch, explains. Get ready for some scientific jargon: XBB.1.5 has many of the same spike mutations and immune evasion as other omicron strains, according to Dr. Menachery. However, a mutation at position 486 in XBB.1.5 spike is predicted to improve binding to the human ACE2 receptor and is thought to be driving XBB.1.5 emergence through increased transmission.