Can SARS-CoV-2 Become Even More Troublesome Than The UK And South African Variants?

We are rapidly learning how SARS-CoV-2 mutates to create variants with new characteristics. Some of these new variants, such as those found in the UK and South Africa, may affect our ability to control the pandemic, including contagion mitigation, diagnosis, and vaccination.

Over the past few weeks, reports show that some variants of SARS-CoV-2 are more contagious than earlier strains. Sequence analysis of these variants reveals that their genome and proteins differ subtly from their less infectious origins. The viral protein studied in most detail is the spike protein. Multiple independent isolates harbor changes in the spike protein that account, at least partially, for their increased transmissibility.

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© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.