Novel coronavirus -- mutation, evolution

Novel coronavirus -- mutation, evolution

A curious question is to know whether the novel coronavirus is evolving. Indeed viruses undergo evolution. In fact, the novel coronavirus being an RNA virus undergoes a rapid evolution than those of DNA viruses, due to the fact that the RNA viruses have higher mutation rates.

The mutation studies can provide with better understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 transmission and can also help in containing the spread of the disease. Understanding of mutation studies can also be useful in the development of drugs, treatments, vaccines. In addition, studies from specific geographical settings can also enable epidemiologists to develop region-specific strategies in controlling the disease.

The IndiaBioscience article discusses about various studies from different countries related to mutation of SARS-CoV-2.

The article discussed about various pieces of evidence gathered by scientists indicating variations in the genetic code of the SARS-CoV-2, though not causing different symptoms of the same illness. Some studies indicate that SARS-CoV-2 appears to be undergoing mutation quite slower than other infections viruses. Usually, new variants of viruses retain many features from their older variants. Due to the fact that the new variants may not change as fast over a shorter time period, and therefore, it may not be totally resistant to the vaccines being developed.

An update article is published on CovidGyan based on Indian studies.

The update article discusses about studies of genome sequencing conducted in India indicating that SARS-CoV-2 has evolved into a different mutation and can be categorized into a new group for its unique occurrence in India.

The mutation studies are conducted by analyzing virus genome sequences from global databases, that helps to identify specific varieties of the virus and also in tracing its ancestor. The SARS-CoV-2 is also evolving by mutation. Global studies indicate that SARS-CoV-2 may have gone through 11 different mutations, categorized into 10 groups of viruses that evolved from a common ancestor. These mutations appear in the spike protein and membrane genes. While the Indian studies have indicated the mutation appears in nucleocapsid proteins and envelope genes.

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