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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 batch release

The NCPV team is delighted to announce that SARS-CoV-2 Omicron B.1.1.529 (Pango lineage, also known as BA.1, or Nextstrain clade 21K) has been added to the NCPV catalogue (NCPV 2112101v).

This variant was first collected in South Africa on 9th November 2021, and reported to the WHO on the 24th November (1). Analysis shows that, compared to reference strain Wuhan-Hu-1 (GenBank accession no. MN908947), Omicron B.1.1.529 has collected over 60 substitutions, deletions and insertions. This includes 30 substitutions, a number of deletions, and one insertion within the spike protein (2,3). Omicron was identified as a Variant of Concern in the UK on 27th November 2021 (4).

Find our Omicron B.1.1.529 / BA.1 available for sale on our website.

Written by James Hardy, Jane Burton and Ellie Drinkwater



1. Classification of Omicron (B.1.1.529): SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (2021, November 26). World Health Organisation,

2. He, X., Hong, W., Pan, X., Lu, G., & Wei, X. (2021). SARS‐CoV‐2 Omicron variant: characteristics and prevention. MedComm.

3. Nie, C., Sahoo, A. K., Netz, R. R., Herrmann, A., Ballauff, M., & Haag, R. (2022). Charge matters: mutations in omicron variant favor binding to cells. ChemBioChem, e202100681.

4. UK Health Security Agency. (2021). SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England: Variant of concern: Omicron, VOC-21NOV-01 (B.1.1.529): Technical briefing 30. UK Government.


December 2023