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Tune in on 17th July for the Small Business Virtual Summit with Cisco. Register now!
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Last Updated : May 26, 2020 09:00 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Coronavirus pandemic | SARS-Cov-2 has changed form 11 times so far, ICMR study finds

About 45.7 percent of the Indian samples that were studied were found to be type A2a, which evolved from its ancestral type O first found in Wuhan, China.

Representative image
Representative image

The most prominent type of SARS-Cov-2 from the novel coronavirus family that causes COVID-19, has mutated at least 11 times so far - Indian scientists have said.

Researchers at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics have studied the genome sequencing data from 3,636 patients across 55 countries, including 21 samples from India.

A report in The BusinessLine cites these researchers from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) institute in West Bengal as saying that the dominant virus that had evolved in February and March was of the A2a type.

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When a virus mutates, it changes form to create genetic diversity. A virus changing its forms or modifying itself is key to its survival. The more it mutates, the more it is likely to reproduce itself.

The report, citing a study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, further suggests that type A2a, consisting of 1,848 (51 percent) of the samples, evolved from its ancestral type O - first found in Wuhan, China.

Among the Indian samples, 16 (45.7 percent) were of A2a type, 13 (37.1 percent) were A3, five (14.3 percent) were O and just one was of B type (2.9 percent).

The study has reportedly recommended large scale genomes sequencing of host patients in India to help identify regional and ethnic variation in viral composition.

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It was earlier reported that the A2a type had become dominant and spread across geographical regions.

According to another study, the A2a mutation of the novel coronavirus is highly efficient in entering human lung cells in large numbers. The previous SARS-CoV, which had emerged in 2010 and infected over 8,000 and killed 800, was also efficient in attacking human lung cells, but it was not as adept as A2a.

It was also reported that a mutated strain of SARS-Cov-2, which had begun spreading in Europe in February and then in the United States and Canada, become the dominant form of the virus worldwide by March.

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First Published on May 26, 2020 08:50 am
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