On Wednesday, Ohio State researchers announced that they had identified two strains of the coronavirus likely to have originated in the United States.
One of the new strains was identified in a single patient in the state. “Therefore, the researchers do not yet know the prevalence of stress in the population,” according to the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, where the researchers identified the strain for the first time.
This new species “It has the same mutations as the UK species. But it’s likely caused by a strain of the virus already existing in the United States, ”the official said.
The researchers also found that what is described as A “evolving species with three new mutations”; which became “the dominant virus in Columbus over three weeks in late December 2020 and January”.
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“The new Columbus species has the same genetic backbone as the previous case we studied. But these three mutations represent important evolution, ”Dr. Dan Jones, vice president of molecular pathology and lead author of the study, said in the testimony. Virus in the UK or South Africa “
The Columbus variant was named COH.20G / 501Y, they said.
Findings were published as a pre-printed BioRxiv server and have not been peer reviewed.
Researchers at the Medical Center identified new strains by sequencing the SARS-COV-2 virus genome they have been doing since the start of the outbreak to try and track. “The evolution of the virus,” they said.
“Like the UK species, the mutation detected in both viruses affects the spikes that pin the surface of SARS-Cove-2, allowing the virus to attach and enter the cells of the virus.” Humans, like the UK species, are mutations in the Columbus species. It tends to make the virus more infectious, making it easier to spread from person to person, ”the university researchers said.
Experts expressed concern that mutations could affect the efficacy of existing vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, however, “we do not have any data to believe that these mutations will have any impact on the efficacy of the vaccines used. It is now, ”said Peter Mohler, co-author of the study and chief scientific officer of Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and deputy dean of research at the College of Medicine, in a statement.
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“It is important that we do not react too much to this new variant until we have more information,” continues Mohler. In populations and have a significant impact on human health? “
Investigating the evolution of the virus will be critical to understanding how mutations affect how doctors diagnose and treat viruses.
Viruses mutate naturally and evolve over time. But the changes seen in the past two months were more prominent than those in the first month of the outbreak, Jones added.