#Coronavirus

Virus Mutation: A2a Now Dominant Across Regions, Called Corona Queen

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As the events unfold, the fight against novel coronavirus is proving to be even more complex than thought. A study conducted by the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani, West Bengal concluded that the novel coronavirus has mutated into 10 different types. Out of these, the one most dominant strain, being referred to as the corona queen is A2a, which is fast replacing other strains across the world, including India. The study will be soon published in the Indian Journal Of Medical Research, The Times of India reported.

Key Takeaways:

  • The novel coronavirus which was first reported in December in Wuhan, China has mutated into 10 different types. 
  • A study conducted by the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), West Bengal, India, analyzed the genome sequences of viruses isolated from 3,636 COVID-19 patients from 55 countries.
  • The study has been approved to be published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research after peer review.
  • The most common of the 10 mutated types is A2a which is fast replacing the other types across the world, including India. This is hence being referred to as the corona queen.
  • While in the world, 51 percent of patients have been diagnosed with the A2a type coronavirus, in India, 45 percent of the virus sequences are A2a.
  • A Chinese study has also underlined that the mutation capability of the coronavirus has been vastly underestimated and different strains of virus might account for different impacts of disease across the world.

Also Read: Kanika Kapoor To Donate Plasma For Treating Coronavirus Patients

The Corona Queen

Two Indian scientists from the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), West Bengal, have concluded that of the 10 mutated types of coronavirus so far, A2a has appeared to be the most popular strain in all the regions, including India. The first strain derived from the coronavirus was the “O” strain, and A2a is fast replacing all the other coronavirus strains including this.

The study included the genome sequences of viruses isolated from 3,636 COVID-19 patients from 55 countries. The results showed that 51 percent of patients across the world, which amounts to around 1,854 virus samples, had A2a strain of coronavirus. In India, this figure stood at 45 percent. “It’s unusual to see one single type sweeping through the world — but that’s what it looks like for the moment,” said Partha Majumder, a senior geneticist at the NIBMG who led the research.

“The more efficiently a type of virus can bind and enter, the more successful it will be to propagate itself through the human population,” said Majumder. “We believe the mutation provides A2a an advantage that is allowing it to dominate.”

Also Read: COVID-19: Mumbai Mayor Returns To Work As A Nurse After 18 Years

How One Strain Of Coronavirus Can Be Deadlier Than Other

A Chinese study has found that the ability of novel coronavirus to mutate has been vastly underestimated and different strains may account for a different level of danger across the world. Professor Li Lanjuan and her colleagues from Zhejiang University, which conducted the study found that within a small pool of patients many mutations were noted which were not previously reported. These mutations included changes so rare that scientists had never considered they might occur.

Since the A2a strain is more dominant than other strains, it is being said that it might transmit with greater efficiency than others. The scientists believe that the NIBMG study might prove to be a game-changer in developing a vaccine for the virus. “If we know a specific type is the dominant virus, vaccine efforts ideally should focus on that type,” Majumder said.

Also Read: Cut Down The Extras: Boosting Personal Health During COVID-19

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