New Strains of the Pandemic Causing Virus: SARS- CoV -2

Observations suggest that the pandemic causing virus shows at least 6 different strains. Even with the mutations, the virus is showing little variability which is a plus point for the researchers working on the vaccine. These results were derived from the most extensive study ever carried out on SARS-CoV-2 sequencing. Scientists at the University of Bologna drew from the analysis of 48,635 coronavirus genomes in labs all over the world which were in isolation. The first variations were quite encouraging taking into considerations there were only seven mutations per sample. Common influenza has twice the variability rate when compared to this virus.

At present, there are six strains of coronavirus. The original L and then the S strain then there is the strain V and the strain G. Strain G is the most widespread to date and they further mutated into GR and GH. Globally speaking, the G strain, GH, and GR are increasing constantly every day. Scientists were able to track the spread of the virus map wise and it was seen that strains G and GR are the most frequently spread across Europe and Italy. The GH strain is almost close to non-existence in Italy but it occurred more frequently in France and Germany.

This confirms the effectiveness of containment methods. In North America, the GH strain is the most widespread one while in South America the GR strain is more frequent. Strain S can be found in the US and Spain in a few restricted areas. The L and V strains are gradually disappearing. Apart from this, scientists have found some infrequent mutations that are not as serious or worrying but should be monitored.

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Ref: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2020.01800/full