Hope you all are doing well.
I would like to update you RE: Omicron and Rapid Antigen test.
First, we need to know the normal structure of SARS-CoV-2, the difference for Omicron, and how the Rapid antigen test works.
A rapid COVID-19 test also called an antigen test, detects proteins from the virus which causes COVID-19. PCR testing is considered the “gold standard” in COVID-19 detection.
Rapid antigen tests target the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein, the most abundant protein expressed by the virus. SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Tests With Emergency Use Authorization right now is detecting nucleocapsid protein (N protein) of SARS-CoV-2 – (plz see picture above).
FYI- test from the company in Dubai (Mr. Farzard) target Spike protein. It’s the protein that helps the virus enter the host cells.
SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has dozens of mutations not seen in the original SARS-CoV-2 strain first detected the virus in Wuhan, China (compared to 10 in alpha, 12 in gamma, and nine in delta). More than 30 of those mutations are in the spike protein on the coronavirus’s surface, which helps the virus to latch on to and infect host cells.
In addition to the change of Protein-S, some research also showed the Omicron variant also of strange proteins M and N.
• it’s unclear whether rapid antigen tests really are less effective at picking up Omicron cases, or what might be causing such a difference.
• There is a report of - Rapid Tests May Have ‘Reduced Sensitivity’ to Omicron’. However, FDA still encourages people to continue to use rapid tests and Home test kits.
• The statement from FDA is:
o "The tests are an essential component of what we need, especially in the time of very rapidly expanding omicron."
o “Antigen tests are generally less sensitive and less likely to pick up very early infections compared to molecular tests.”
o “Early data suggest that antigen tests do detect the omicron variant but may have reduced sensitivity,”
Dr. Sophie Wilson