Researchers in the united kingdom have found nearly 200 recurrent genetic mutations into the virus which leads to COVID-19.
Their findings provide clues about how the book coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, is adapting as it spreads from 1 individual to another.
They might also help scientists better goal vaccines and drugs to portions of the virus which are more secure with time.
Researchers analyzed the genetic changes in SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus inducing COVID-19, by viewing the genomes of over 7,500 viruses from contaminated patients around the world.
They identified 198 mutations that seem to have independently happened over once.
Manager of UCL Genetics Institute, Francois Balloux, that co-led the study, warns that there isn’t anything to imply that the new coronavirus is mutating faster or slower than anticipated, or that it’s growing more dangerous.
“All these mutations in principle aren’t something to be terrified of. Viruses change, evolve, mutate, and many (of those changes) are impartial,” Balloux informed Euronews at a live meeting.
“We identified that a small subset of all mutations that appear to occur over and over again in various strains. They may reflect, to a point, adaptation to your host.
“However, at this stage, I would like to explain that there’s not any proof that we’re seeing more virulent or more transmissible lineages,” he explained.
The tiny genetic changes identified weren’t evenly distributed throughout the virus genome. Some components had hardly any mutations — and investigators say those invariant areas of the virus may be prime targets for vaccine and drug development.
“That is what we are searching for — those areas that are restricted, and that will offer vaccines and potentially drugs the virus will not find a simple way to escape,” Balloux clarified.