In a study published recently, scientists from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev revealed that the Omicron variants may “burn” themselves out in the next couple of months and the Delta variant of COVID-19 might reemerge. The findings of the study were published in the peer-reviewed journal Science of the Total Environment.
According to the scientists, although the Delta variant of the COVID-19 wiped out the variants that came before it, Omicron has not eliminated Delta. The scientists, Professor Ariel Kushmaro and Dr. Karin Yaniv, along with their team have developed sensitive arrays that can differentiate variants from each other in wastewater.
The researchers claim that wastewater continues to give indications of where the coronavirus is active, even when there is a decline in PCR and rapid testing of people.
The scientists monitored Beer-Sheva’s sewage from December 2021 to January 2022 and discovered the relationship between the Omicron and Delta variants. Moreover, they also created a model with Professor Rony Granek, which predicts that Omicron is “burning” itself out while Delta variant of COVID-19 is just biding its time.
“Of course, there are a lot of factors involved, but our model indicates there could be another outbreak of Delta or another coronavirus variant this summer,” warns Prof. Kushmaro in a press statement on Thursday.
The team of scientists also included Dr. Eden Ozer and Marilou Shagan from Ben-Gurion University, and Dr. Yossi Paitan from Ilex Labs. Professor Kushmaro and his team are part of the School of Sustainability and Climate Change and the Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering. The research was supported by the BGU Coronavirus Challenge and the Israeli Ministry of Health.