The COVID19 pandemic has taken a serious toll on the world. Although health experts have been trying to develop an effective treatment for the disease, however, the virus has become quite diverse in nature with time. A study has found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been accumulating genetic mutations, which might be the reason behind the virus being more contagious. The research has enrolled around 5000 patients with COVID19 in Houston. This study has been published in a peer-reviewed journal called mBio. Experts have said that a genetic mutation called D614G, which sits in the spike protein of the virus, is responsible for it to be more infectious. This is the largest peer-reviewed study, which has been done on genomes of the virus across one metropolitan region of the US.
The research shows that the virus has been mutating due to a blend of neutral gist, which means casual genetic alterations, which do not harm or help the virus. The co-author of the study Dr. Ilya Finkelstein has said that during the first stage of the pandemic, nearly 71 percent of patients who have been dealing with COVID19, have been identified with this type of mutation. In the second wave of the outbreak, around 99.9 percent of people have been detected with the virus-carrying this type of mutation. This trend has been observed around the world, said the experts. Earlier a study, which has included more than 28000 genome sequences, has found that virus variant having a D614G mutation has become a globally ruling type of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The SARS-CoV-2 virus causes COVID19 disease. This study has been put together by scientists from Houston Methodist Hospital.
Another study, which has been done on 25000 genome sequences, has found that viruses with this mutation spread faster than other types of viruses, which do not carry the D614G mutation. This research has been done in the UK. Experts have claimed the virus with D614G mutation leads to larger clusters of infection. Some of the experts do not agree with the findings of the study. They have said that D614G mutation has been more prevalent in coronaviruses, which have landed in Europe and North America. It has given a head start to other strains of the virus. The new study says that the spike protein of the virus, which pries on the cells of the body for causing infection, builds up the genetic mutations randomly. Experts believe that at least one of these mutations allows spike protein to neutralize antibodies, which wards of the infection. On the other hand, scientists have not found any strain of the virus, which can dodge, first-generation vaccines.