Two Indian scientists have discovered a new strain of corona virus “A2a” that is rapidly replacing other strains, according to research published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research.
Scientists at the National Institute of Biomedical Research (NIBMG) in Bengal, India have discovered that A2a has emerged as a globally dominant virus strain when it appeared more common than the other 10 types, including including the earliest “O” type corona virus in China, according to Telegraph India.
A study by Partha Majumder and colleague Nidhan Biswas on viral genome sequences isolated from 3,636 Covid-19 patients from 55 countries found that 1,854 (51%) of the virus samples were of type A2a.
Many countries, including India, have had the first cases of infection caused by the “ancestral” type O coronavirus from China, but over time, the virus has mutated to adapt and evolve into 10 additional strains. In most countries, A2a is replacing the other corona virus and causing more than 80% of infections in Italy.
“It’s rare for a single strain of the virus to sweep across the globe like this – but this is probably happening now,” said Partha Majumder, a senior geneticist at NIBMG, who led the research. said.
According to the study, a specific mutation could lead to a slight change in the structure of the spike protein that the virus attaches to spleen into human lung cells, allowing the A2a virus to invade. Entering human lung cells more easily than other types.
“The more effective the virus is associated and penetrates, the faster it spreads in the population,” Majumder said. “We believe this mutation has given A2a an overwhelming advantage.”
The study also suggests that from February to March, A2a rates have increased in Brazil, Congo, Iceland, Italy, Spain, UK and USA. Information about A2a in China is unclear because the country has not submitted data on gene sequences after February.
These findings may have implications for the development of the corona virus vaccine.
“If we know a specific virus is dominant, we can make efforts to develop a vaccine to target that virus,” Majumder said.
Research on the genome, thus, has revealed the presence of 11 types of Covid-19 corona viruses worldwide. However, how the genetic differences between these viruses play a role in the severity of Covid-19 remains an open question.
Scientists at Zhejiang Medical University in China earlier this month published an analysis based on a number of viral sequences and believed that mutations allowed some viruses to divide more efficiently inside cells. . But the implications of these findings for the spread of Covid-19 are still unclear.