Study On COVID Virus Genome Finds Over 200 Mutations

by Paromita Datta published on -

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We know that the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the coronavirus pandemic is highly adaptable and has mutated considerably since it was first discovered. Now a team of scientists from the UK has identified more than 200 genetic mutations in the virus. This study shows how the virus has evolved and adapted among its human hosts. Interestingly, they also found a similar large variation of genetic pool in all the hardest-hit countries, negating the suggestion of a single ‘patient zero’.

Graphic representation of a virus.

The SARS-COV-2 is constantly evolving and adapting to its human host. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The study was published in the journal Infection, Genetics and Evolution. To gather their information, the team studied the genetic make-up of more than 7,500 viruses from infected people across the world. They used data from various sources in the global scientific community, which gave them access to over 11,000 complete genome sequences of the SARS-CoV-2. They found 198 mutations that occurred independently of each other and at multiple times.

These findings suggest that the virus shares a common ancestor and was probably in circulation among humans long before it was detected. They also found that the diversity of the genome in the UK was similar to what they saw across the world. This suggested that the virus entered the country through multiple hosts independently. This refutes the theory of a ‘patient zero’. This research is also critical in the development of the vaccine since the evolution of the genome can hinder its efficacy.

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.
Get the latest public health information from CDC.
Get the latest research from NIH.

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About the Author

Paromita Datta covers the latest health and wellness trends for Organic Facts. An ex-journalist who specialized in health and entertainment news, Paromita was responsible for managing a health supplement for The New Indian Express, a leading national daily in India. She has completed her post-graduation in Business Administration from the University of Rajasthan and her diploma in journalism from YMCA, Delhi. She has completed an e-course, Introduction to Food and Health, from Stanford University, US.

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