Discovered mutation is less harmful than the original virus. The genome of the virus stable, which increases the chances of a quick development of the vaccine.
Scientists from Taiwan and Australia have discovered the first significant mutation of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Preliminary data published on the website of preprints and bioRxiv.
In General, researchers report on genome stability of the virus and prospects for a vaccine against it. Besides discovered mutation is less dangerous to humans.
The study was studied the genetic structure of 106 samples of the pathogen COVID-19. The data included 54 entries from USA, 35 from China, three from Spain, two from Brazil and one each from Australia, Finland, India, Italy, Nepal, South Korea and Sweden.
The first significant mutation faced by researchers, was discovered in a sample taken from a patient in India on January 27. This mutation changed the gene so that makes the pathogen less able to bind to a receptor on human cells, called ACE2, that is less dangerous to humans.
The scientists also compared the information about the new coronavirus from 39 sequences of the genome of SARS coronavirus, known as SARS. The results showed that, in General, the genome of the virus SARS-CoV-2 is much more stable and less prone to mutations than the SARS virus. It is also more stable than the viruses that cause SARS.
According to the authors, it is encouraging that the vaccine COVID-19 will be effective, though, if mutations of the novel coronavirus will continue, it may significantly complicate the work on a vaccine.
Scientists note that the detected mutation is less dangerous, and the genes that encode the spike protein of the virus, and which allow it to attach to healthy cells, remains the same. Namely, these proteins are potential targets for many of the developed vaccines.
“As the virus continues to spread rapidly around the world and accumulate more genomic data, it is still necessary to carefully monitor the dynamics of evolution and mutations of SARS-CoV-2. We have confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 has a relatively low frequency of mutations, but also proved that a new mutation with other immune characteristics and virulence has emerged”, the article reads.
It is noted that the genome of the novel coronavirus seems very stable, so far only discovered a significant mutation is less harmful than the original virus, and s-protein spikes, which the virus clings to the cell, it remains unchanged.
Meanwhile, Chinese scientists announced the successful testing of inactivated vaccines against coronavirus infection in mice, rats and monkeys.
Everything in the world is being developed about 70 vaccines.