The current SARS-CoV-2 is said to differ from the originally evolved strain from the Wuhan where disease initially developed. The study published in the journal Cell states that the virus is able to readily infect people when compared to the original strain in China. This is because the virus the mutation is more transmissible between humans in the real world, says the study, but needs further evidence.
Dr. Anthony Fauci also stated that there is a single mutation that makes the virus replicate better and may lead to higher viral loads. He further added that we are not sure whether this worsens the disease in an individual or not. It helps the virus to replicate better and makes it more transmissible but still needs confirmation.
Researchers from various leading universities also analyzed the genome sequences of the virus in GISAID, a database where sequences are shared. They found that current variant D614G has already undergone mutation at the spike protein level. Although their findings were significant, they did not give answers as to whether the mutation was leading to the domination of the strain.
Therefore, the team went on to perform additional experiments. This led them to see that 999 British patients had a more viral load and the severity of the infection. Moreover, laboratory experiments also show us that these variants are three to six times more potent of infecting human cells. But we cannot extrapolate in vitro results to a pandemic as the situation can vary.
Currently, what we know that there is a strain that is mutated and existing in the population. This mutated strain tells us the need for immediate focus on medication and vaccine development based on the change in the virus. We also need a large scale study to study in detail about the mutated strain so that we have more evidence on how this strain works.
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