Scientists discover coronavirus mutation that can make it more 'infectious'

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 07, 2020, 01:04 PM(IST)

Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

According to a preliminary study conducted by these researchers, this particular mutation is becoming dominant.

Scientists in the US and UK have identified a particular mutation called D614G which can make COVID-19 more ''infectious.''

According to a preliminary study conducted by these researchers, this particular mutation is becoming dominant.

Also read: Studies show coronavirus adapts to people, China vaccine works in monkeys

They have been tracking changes to the "spike" of the virus that gives it its distinctive shape (structure), using a database called the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID).

Monitoring small changes to the structure of the virus is important in understanding the development of vaccines.

Also read: How antibody drugs are different from vaccines

Many of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development target the distinctive spikes of the virus, the idea is that getting human bodies to recognise a unique element of the spike will help it to fight off the whole virus.

But if that spike is changing, a vaccine developed this way could become less effective.

Scientists noted there seems to be something about this particular mutation that makes it grow more quickly.

However, the consequences of this are not yet clear.

The research team analysed UK data from coronavirus patients in Sheffield.

Although they found people with that particular mutation of the virus seemed to have a larger amount of the virus in their samples, they didn't find evidence that those people became sicker or stayed in hospital for longer.

They have not yet established what this will mean for virus spread in the population and for how effective a vaccine might be.

Scientists from all across the globe are identifying mutations of the coronavirus.

 

Read in App