Coronavirus may have mutated itself into 11 different types: Report

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on April 29, 2020 Published on April 29, 2020

The coronavirus may have mutated itself into 11 different types. However, the type that has infected human beings on a wide scale is the most dominant type, speculated by the two Indian scientists, as per The New Indian Express report.

The scientists affiliated with the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics under the department of biotechnology of the Union Government have found that from O or ancestral type of virus that originated from Wuhan, China, there are 10 more types that have evolved over time but a type named A2a started to overtake other types.

According to the research paper written by the two scientists, which is set to get published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), by the end of March, this A2a type had almost replaced all other types and became the dominant type of SARS-CoV-2.

The research paper has explored the RNA sequences of more than 3600 coronaviruses gathered from 55 countries prevalent between December 2019 - April 6, 2020.

The scientists noted that the dominance of A2a viruses in some countries could be as high as 80 per cent. In India, it could be around 45 per cent.

Partha Majumdar, one of the two scientists behind the major finding said to TNIE: "Our research clearly indicates that in terms of infectivity and transmission A2a looks the most capable. So, as a vaccine or any other intervention is developed against the virus, the major fight has to be against this particular type."

According to their study, the evolvement of the dominant virus has led to its higher number of cases prevalent among patients. Scientists said that the RNA sequence, which alters a component -- an amino acid alteration from aspartic acid to glycine of the spike protein -- that facilitates the virus' entry into lung cells, TNIE report further added.

As human lung cells produce a protein called ACE2 on their surface, the spike protein of the coronavirus first clings to this surface protein ACE2 and then another protein takes action and promotes the entry of the virus into the lung cell.

Published on April 29, 2020

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