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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by SARS-CoV-2 evolution and emergence of viral variants that have far exceeded initial expectations. Five major variants of concern (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron) have emerged, each having both unique and overlapping amino acid substitutions that have affected transmissibility, disease severity, and susceptibility to natural or vaccine-induced immune responses and monoclonal antibodies. Several of the more recent variants appear to have evolved properties of immune evasion, particularly in cases of prolonged infection. Tracking of existing variants and surveillance for new variants are critical for an effective pandemic response.

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2023-01-27
2024-06-15
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-med-042921-020956
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