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SARS-COV-2 strains classified - and G is dominant

Tuesday August 4th 2020

There are now at least six strains of the COVID-19 virus – but it remains vulnerable to vaccines, according to a major new analysis.

There is little variation between the strains, which are now predominant in different parts of the world, according to the Italian study.

The original Wuhan strain, strain L, has been largely overtaken by strain G and its offshoots, which are most common in Europe, according to the study, reported in Frontiers in Microbiology.

G and an offshoot GR are common in Europe while GR is most common in South America. In North America another offshoot, GH, is most common. The original L strain is disappearing. Strain L is disappearing as is another mutation V, they say.

The mutations tend to change the sequence of RNA polymerase and the Spike proteins, probably increasing infectivity, the researchers say.

Federico Giorgi, from the University of Bologna, said: "The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is presumably already optimised to affect human beings, and this explains its low evolutionary change.

"This means that the treatments we are developing, including a vaccine, might be effective against all the virus strains".

* Worldwide India recorded the most deaths yesterday at 810 with more than 50,000 new diagnoses. The UK reported nine deaths and 928 new cases of infection.

But authorities in the city region of Manchester, UK, declared a state of emergency as local surges had an impact on several boroughs.

Geographic and Genomic Distribution of SARS-CoV-2 Mutations. Frontiers in Microbiology August 2020

http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.01800

Tags: Asia | Europe | Flu & Viruses | North America | South America

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