Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 offer insights into virus evolution

"All viruses naturally mutate. Mutations in themselves are not a bad thing and there is nothing to suggest SARS-CoV-2 is mutating faster or slower than expected. So far we cannot say whether SARS-CoV-2 is becoming more or less lethal and contagious." said Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics Institute) The small genetic changes, or mutations, identified were not evenly distributed across the virus genome. As some parts of the genome had very few mutations, the researchers say those invariant parts of the virus could be better targets for drug and vaccine development. "A major challenge to defeating viruses is that a vaccine or drug might no longer be effective if the virus has mutated. If we focus our efforts on parts of the virus that are less likely to mutate, we have a better chance of developing drugs that will be effective in the long run," Professor Balloux explained. The results add to a growing body of evidence that SARS-CoV-2 viruses share a common ancestor from late 2019, suggesting that this was when the virus jumped from a previous animal host, into people. This means it is most unlikely the virus causing Covid-19 was in human circulation for long before it was first detected. To read more- https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200505190550.htm

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Educative post.
Thanks Dr Dinesh Gupta
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