UVM research sheds new light on delta variant of COVID

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 5:50 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - New research from the University of Vermont sheds light on how infectious the delta variant of COVID was compared to previous strains.

They looked at the amount of viral RNA that was in samples of people who had been diagnosed with COVID. They found that people infected with delta not only had more RNA in their samples, but the RNA also corresponded to more infectious virus than the alpha variant.

Researchers say it was something they heard might be the case but it was still surprising to see it quantified.

“I didn’t really know which way things would go until we measured it. So, it was surprising to see that there was a lot more infectious virus in those samples for the same RNA,” said Emily Bruce, an assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at UVM.

“It’s very dynamic and it’s actually very fun to be in a lab where we are working on something that is such a pertinent public health item at the moment,” said Hannah Despres, a UVM grad student.

They’re also working on research on how infectious omicron is but say their findings aren’t ready yet.

Watch the video to see our Cat Viglienzoni’s full conversation with Emily Bruce and Hannah Despres.

Click here for the study in the Journal PNAS.

Video footage provided courtesy of the UVM Larner College of Medicine.

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