A number of scientists have claimed that a strain of Corona virus mutated to be ten times more contagious.
A team from the Scripps Research Institute in Florida examined the spike protein and found that the strain was more infectious than others because it was inseparable once it entered the body.
Lead researcher Dr. Herion Choi said the virus’s mutation had occurred to “offset old spike proteins”.
The spike protein is known to be used by the Corona virus to attach cells to the airways with ACE-2 receptors, which are transit points that viruses use to enter the body.
Scientists claim that this mutation has occurred since January, and according to Dr. Choi, the virus is now becoming more virulent.
The study review is not yet complete and has been published through bioRxiv. Scientists say the virus is now ten times more infectious than it was when it was first discovered in humans in China.
“Viruses with this mutation are much more infectious than those that do not have a mutation in the cell culture system that we used. This is not an accident,” wrote Dr. Choi in the study.
Co-author, Dr. Michael Farzan added: “Over time, viruses have come out with how to better stick and not collapse until you need to.”
The mutated version is called SG614 and officially the D614. It is the strain prevalent in “Covid-19” patients in Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“The epidemiological study and our data together really explain why the alternative species has spread in Europe and the United States very quickly,” Dr. Choi said in an interview with The Washington Post.
Despite the strength of spike, scientists said it did not give people more severe symptoms. 12 strains of the deadly virus were found in the United Kingdom last March.
Dr. Chos study added: “The interesting question is why the more stable SG614 viruses seem to be transmissible without leading to a noticeable difference in disease severity.”
“Higher levels of functional spike protein observed with SG614 can increase the chance of host-to-host transmission, but other factors limit the rate and efficiency of replication within the host.”
The SG614 strain of the virus was first found in Germany in February. Scientists note that during March, the G614 boom became increasingly popular across Europe, and by April, it had taken over the most recent specimens.
Also, in early March, Canada and the United States saw the emergence of this strain of the virus, which became the predominant form in both countries by the end of the month.
Source: The Sun