KOMPAS.com – Scientists had previously pointed out that mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 corona virus, D614G, made the virus easier to transmit quickly.
However, viral mutations aren’t always negative. Viral mutations also cause changes in the spike protein that make the virus more susceptible to vaccines.
The spike protein is a protein that forms spikes on the surface of the corona virus. This spike protein is used by the corona virus to bind and attack host or human cells.
In reports published in journals Science, Scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Wisconsin-Madison describe the mutation of the coronavirus D614G in detail.
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Scientists have been aware of the D614G mutation from several months ago.
Previous research has shown that it is possible that the D614G mutation appeared in Europe before becoming the most common variant in the world.
This new study supports this idea.
They found that the D614G variant replicated faster and was easier to transmit than the virus native to China.
To better understand this variant, the researchers infected the hamsters with the SARS-CoV-2 D614G coronavirus mutation and the original variant. Then the hamster was placed next to eight hamsters who were not infected.
Air can pass between the cages, but hamsters cannot physically touch each other.
Experiments show that the D614G variant appears to replicate around 10 times faster and is more contagious.
“We saw that the mutated virus (D614G) was more contagious than the (original) virus. This may explain why the mutated coronavirus dominates humans,” said Yoshihiro Kawaoka, study author and virologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. . IFL Science, Friday (13/11/2020).
“The D614G virus outstrips the original strain by about 10 times and replicates very rapidly in nasal epithelial cells, which are a potentially important organ for person-to-person transmission,” added Ralph Baric, professor of epidemiology at UNC Chapel. Hill Gillings School of Global Public. Health and professor of microbiology and immunology at the UNC School of Medicine.
Baric suspects the D614G variant is more easily transmitted due to changes in the spike protein.
It was found that the D614G mutation had a “hood” at the end of one of the peaks, which allowed it to be more effective at binding cells.
However, the strength of the D614G mutation can also be a weakness.
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The researchers argue that the cap at the end of one of the peaks also means it makes it easier for vaccines and antibodies to inactivate the virus.
This means that a mutated coronavirus may be more contagious, but not necessarily cause worse disease.
As previous studies have shown, D614G is easier to enter cells and easier to transmit.
However, there was no significant correlation between people infected with the D614G virus and the risk of hospitalization.