Frederik Lyngse in WHO Technical Advisory Group
The continued circulation of SARS-CoV-2 and the emergence of variants requires constant vigilance and a global mechanism to track, monitor and evaluate the evolving situation. Frederik Plesner Lyngse's paper on transmission rates has now resulted in an invitation from WHO.
In June 2020, WHO established an informal Virus Evolution Expert Working Group to specifically assess SARS-CoV-2 evolution, mutations and variants. This independent group of experts, called Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution, meet regularly to discuss and analyse the impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants on transmissibility, clinical presentation, disease severity, diagnostics and therapeutics and determine whether a given variant constitutes a variant of interest (VOI) or a variant of concern (VOC) according to WHO definitions.
Now, Frederik Plesner Lyngse is to present the findings from his studies from December on the Omicron variant of concern. He and his co-authors find that the rapid spread of Omicron can primarily be ascribed to the immune evasiveness rather than an inherent increase in the basic transmissibility.
The recommendations of the expert group are used to inform WHO on global, regional and national COVID-19 prevention and control strategies and utilized by other WHO advisory groups.