Two Covid-19 genomic variations increase mortality risk by 5-fold

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on November 26, 2020 Published on November 26, 2020

A new study on the SARS-CoV-2 genome revealed that mutations in the viral spike protein and RNA polymerase complex can increase the risk of COVID-19 mortality.

The study was carried out by researchers from South Korea and the United States. The study was published in the journal bioRxiv* preprint server.

Earlier studies stated that some of these mutations, such as the D614G mutation in the viral spike protein, have been found to increase the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2.

Study design

For the study, the scientists speculated COVID-19 severity by analyzing a total of 3,626 SARS-CoV-2 genomes available on the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) database.

The researchers identified two genetic loci that reached genome-wide significance -- 12053bp and 25088bp. The genomes of SARS-CoV-2 that bear at least one mutation at 12053bp or 25088bp were obtained predominantly from South America, Asia, and Europe.

Further analysis revealed that the mutations at these two loci increase the COVID-19 related mortality risk by 5-fold.

The scientists mentioned that such a mutation may increase the activity of RNA polymerase, which in turn can increase virulence.


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Published on November 26, 2020
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