TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Professor Chairul Anwar Nidom on Tuesday explained the characteristics of the Omicron Covid-19 variant which has spread worldwide, which he argues is not dissimilar to the Delta variant with similarities in its D614G mutation and antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE).
He believes the Omicron has the potential of causing various mutations. “We are not or yet aware about the risks regarding the new mutation since Omicron can act as a source of environmental genetic material,” said Nidom to Tempo on Tuesday, January 4.
According to the leader and founder of the Professor Nidom Foundation, this variant of concern might also be a trojan horse leading to other highly worrying variants or viruses. He mentioned the emergence of a “flurona,” or the combination of the flu and coronavirus as a possible example.
It is possible that Omicron is able to 'kill' antibodies, which makes a person’s antibody naive and vulnerable to not only Covid, but also other pathogens. "Therefore, antibody titers should be checked frequently, especially the ability of existing antibodies against existing variants, including Omicron," he added.
He noted the importance of prioritizing testing with PCR swab tests instead of Antigen, which the former is more potent in helping understand the new variant than the latter.
Nidom urged the public to remain calm, not overreact to the existence of Omicron, and always implement the proper health protocols “especially the use of face masks,” Nidom reminded.
MOH KHORY ALFARIZI