A report says that scientists are trying to understand the mutation of a new coronavirus found globally, and some people think that this mutation may make the virus more contagious.
Coronavirus mutations, D614G or “G” for short, have been found to affect the spike protein of the virus, which has a structure that allows it to enter human cells. The more effective the spike protein, the easier it is to enter the host.
According to the “Washington Post” report, studies have shown that this mutation may change the amino acid 614 from “D” (aspartic acid) to “G” (glycine), thereby making the spike protein more effective, thereby enhancing the virus̵
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The researchers found that about 70% of the genomes of about 50,000 new viruses uploaded to shared databases carry this mutation.
“Epidemiological studies and our data together explain why [G variant’s] Hyeryun Choe, a virologist at Scripps Research, told the newspaper: “It’s spreading very quickly in Europe and the United States.” “It’s not just accidental.”
Choe is the lead author of an unpublished study on G variants enhancing infectivity in laboratory cell culture. He said there are two reasons why “G” is more effective in spreading viruses.
In the mutation, the external parts of those proteins that bind to human receptors are less likely to break, which is a defect of SARS-CoV-2, which is a cause of COVID-19 originating in China. Virus.
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The failure mechanism makes it difficult for SARS-CoV-2 to invade host cells. He added that “G” has more spike proteins, and said that these reasons made the mutation 10 times more infectious in laboratory experiments.
Choe said: “I think this mutation can just make up.”
In four studies yet to be peer-reviewed, the mutation was also found to be more contagious. The report said that a study conducted by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory concluded that patients with “G” mutations also have more viruses in their bodies, which makes them more likely to spread it to others.
Others believe that more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of mutations in spreading the virus.
Jeremy Luban, a virologist at the Massachusetts University School of Medicine, said: “The most important thing is that we have not found anything certain.”
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Choe added that this mutation will not affect the lethality of the virus to those infected, it will only affect its infectivity.