Novel Coronavirus Mutation Increases Risk of Infection, Study Says

Modesto Morganelli
Июня 16, 2020

A certain mutation in the new coronavirus can significantly increase its capability to infect cells, according to a study by USA researchers.

Virologist Hyeryun Choe, lead author of the study, says they were able to determine in cell culture systems that "viruses with that mutation are much more contagious than those without it".

In an ulterior reported, she and her colleagues revealed that the mutation, known as D614G, is responsible for the rapid outbreak of the disease in heavily-affected regions like NY and Italy.

What the D614G mutation does is increase up to 4 or 5 times the number or density of functional "spikes" existing on the viral surface and at the same time make them more flexible. Those spikes are what allow the virus to bind to and infect cells.

The researchers say that it is still unknown whether this small mutation affects the severity of symptoms of infected people, or increases mortality.

The researchers conducting lab experiments say that more research, including controlled studies - widely considered a gold standard for clinical trials, must be done to ensure their findings from test tube experiments.

According to Michael Farzan, co-author of the research and co-chair of the Scripps Department of Immunology and Microbiology, none of the SARS-CoV-2 sequences deposited in the GenBank database had the mutation. The D614G mutation in particular has been flagged as an urgent concern since it appeared to be emerging as a dominant mutation.

The Scripps Research study happens to be undergoing peer review and was released on Friday amid reports of its findings.

Experts who conducted their research with harmless viruses created to produce key coronavirus proteins warn that additional epidemiological studies are needed to determine whether what they have found to be more effective in infecting cells through mutation also occurs in "the real world". We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information.

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