Coronavirus: A mutation in SARS-CoV-2 made it more contagious

The SARS-CoV-2 virus has become more contagious, according to a new study of more than 5,000 patients with Covid-19. Researchers at the University of Austin, Texas, have found that the virus accumulates genetic mutations, one of which may be COVID-19 more contagious. According to a report published in the scientific journal mBIO, this mutation, called D614G, is located in the spike of the virus protein, which “opens” our cells to enter them. This is the largest study of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences to date. “This means that random genetic changes are made that do not help or damage the virus, but put pressure on our immune system,” said Dr. Ilia Finkelstein, an associate professor of molecular biosciences at the University of Texas and co-author of the study. pandemic, 71% of patients diagnosed in COVID-19 patients in Houston had this mutation. When the second wave of the pandemic hit Houston, this mutation had reached 99.9%. This reflects a global trend. A study published in July based on more than 28,000 genome sequences found that variants carrying the D614G mutation became the world-leading form of SARS-CoV-2 within about a month. It is perhaps the most contagious form of the coronavirus. A study of more than 25,000 genome sequences in the United Kingdom found that viruses with the D614G mutation tended to transmit faster than those without the mutation and caused larger clusters of infections. But not all scientists are convinced. Some argue that the D614G mutation may have been more common in the first viruses to reach Europe and North America, effectively giving it a “lead” spread over other strains of the virus. The spike protein also continues to accumulate additional mutations unknown. of importance. The Houston Methodist-UT Austin team also showed in laboratory experiments that at least one such mutation allows the spike to avoid a neutralizing antibody that humans naturally produce to fight SARS-CoV-2 infections. This can allow this variant of the virus to escape more easily from our immune system. Although it is not yet clear if this translates into also easier transmission between individuals. “The coronavirus continues to mutate as it spreads around the world. “Real-time monitoring efforts, such as our study, will ensure that global vaccines and treatment are always one step ahead,” said Dr. Finkelstein. “Scientists have recorded a total of 285 mutations in thousands of infections, although most do not.” seem to have a significant effect on how severe the disease is. Current studies continue to monitor the third wave of patients with COVID-19 and determine how the virus adapts to the neutralizing antibodies produced by our immune system. Each new infection is a “new roll”, an additional chance of developing more dangerous mutations. Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the news See all the latest News from Greece and the World, at

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