Two upcoming studies have raised concerns about a new coronavirus mutation, which scientists have been studying in California.
They implied that the variant might not only be more contagious, but could also cause more serious diseases. The researchers emphasized that this research is still in its early stages and has not been published or has been peer-reviewed. More work is needed.
A team at the University of California, San Francisco tested samples of the virus from the recent outbreak in California and found that it is becoming more common. It has not been seen in any samples since September, but it was found in half of the samples by the end of January.
This variant is called B.1
A specific mutation in the receptor binding domain of the spike protein, the L452R mutation, allows the virus to dock with the cell more effectively. Our data shows that this is likely to be the key mutation that makes this variant more infectious,” Dr. Charles Chiu, deputy director of the University of California San Francisco Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, who led one of the studies, told Wired TV News Network.
They found that some evidence was more dangerous.
They wrote in the report: “In this study, we observed an increase in the severity of diseases associated with B.1.427/B.1.429 infections, including an increased risk of high oxygen demand.” San Francisco health officials conducted this. Review.
Chiu said it should be designated as a variant of interest, and research should be given priority.
The second team of Unidos en Salud, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization, provided rapid testing in the San Francisco mission area. The team tested 8,846 people in January and sequenced the virus from 630 samples. They also found that this variant increased rapidly.
The results of the study showed that the L452R variant accounted for 53% of the positive test samples collected from January 10 to 27. UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Diane Havlir said in a statement: “This is a significant increase compared to the November sequencing which showed that the variant only accounted for 16% of positive trials.”
Havlir’s team is also preparing to publish the findings.