Omicron Variant May Have Spread from Animal to Human, Scientists Suggest

Press/Media: Expert Comment


Expert commented requested on the following article.  Comment: 

I don’t have much to add beyond what’s said in the article you sent me the link from – it’s certainly possible, but we don’t have enough data to be sure. It’s also plausible that the virus picked up the suite of mutations through circulating undetected over a period of time in humans. We have some very good surveillance systems for SARS-CoV-2 but unfortunately they don’t provide universal coverage across the globe, so there will be places where we just don’t know what’s happening.  Whichever theory about the origin of the Omicron variant is correct (and they’re not mutually exclusive options – both could have happened), it reiterates the benefits of getting the vaccine and booster programmes to as high a coverage as possible.


"The Omicron variant of COVID could potentially have come from an animal, according to a theory proposed by a researcher.

Little is known about Omicron, the variant that has dominated headlines for the past several days after scientists voiced concerns about its vast number of mutations compared to previous forms of COVID.

Experts believe Omicron is concerning because it has over 30 mutations on the part of its genome that codes for its spike protein, which it uses to invade cells. It is feared this could make it better and spreading and resistant to immunity. Laboratory research is underway to determine if that is the case."

Period7 Dec 2021

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleOmicron Variant May Have Spread From Animal to Human, Scientists Suggest
    Media name/outletNewsweek
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    PersonsPaul Digard