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Covid 19 in India: virus has mutated into 10 types, one now dominant in all regions: Study | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: The new coronavirus, first reported in China in December 2019, has mutated into 10 different types and one of them, A2a, has almost replaced all the others to become dominant in all geographic regions, according to a study. global made by an Indian institute.

The study, conducted by Nidhan Biswas and Partha Majumder of the National Institute for Biomedical Genomics in Kalyani, West Bengal, will soon be published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). . )

The new coronavirus with the A2a mutation is highly efficient at entering human lung cells in large numbers. The previous SARS-CoV that killed 800 and infected 8,000 people 10 years ago was also adept at entering the lungs, but not as much as A2a. It is efficient in transmission, and consequently Covid-19 became highly prevalent in all regions, the authors wrote. The study is crucial as it provides vaccine manufacturers with a specific goal.

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All 10 types have evolved from the ancestral type “O” for four months. A2a started outperforming other guys around the world in late March. “It has become the dominant type of SARS-CoV2,” said Majumder.

The NIBG researchers used the RNA sequence data shared by Covid-19 researchers from around the world in a public database, GISAID. The team used RNA sequences from 3,600 coronaviruses collected from 55 countries from December 2019 to April 6, 2020.

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The first observation was that the coronavirus has become newer types during its spread within China and the rest of the world. “The coronavirus can be classified into many types: O, A2, A2a, A3, B, B1, etc. Currently, there are 11 types, including type O, which is the” ancestral type “that originated in Wuhan,” he said. Majumder, distinguished professor and founding director of the institute.

“In order to live, a virus must spread by infecting other animals. A mutation generally prevents the virus from transmitting itself, “Majumder said. However, some mutations allow the virus to spread more efficiently and infect more people. “Such mutant viruses increase the (transmission) frequency and sometimes completely replace the original type of the virus. SARS-CoV2 is doing exactly that,” he added.

The coronavirus, or Covid, infection begins in the patient’s throat, then enters his lungs and multiplies, causing breathing difficulties. The scientists said the A2a mutation altered a component of the spike protein (the main protein on the surface) of the coronavirus, allowing it to more easily bind to the protein on the surface of the lung cell, Majumder said. Covid-19 has become a pandemic due to the A2a type’s ability to transmit easily.

Despite the very small sample of RNA sequences from infected people in India (35), the study showed that A2a represented 47.5% of the samples. Interestingly, more people with type A2a have no known travel history to countries outside of India. For any conclusion on whether the A2a type is dominant in India, more samples of RNA sequences are required, the researchers said.

The study is important for the fight against Covid-19 — to develop vaccines and also to determine the presence of coexistence of type A2a with other types in some regions. Studies are required to determine whether coexistence is due to the ethnic composition of these regions or due to their travel patterns. The institute’s researchers are trying to answer some of these questions.

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