All you need to know about D614G, a dangerous mutation of SARS-CoV2August 18, 2020 11:57
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Apprehensions of coronavirus reinfections have grown in people leading them to doubt even the efficacy of the vaccines being developed across the world.
Malaysia’s health ministry on Sunday confirmed the presence of D614G, a mutation of SARS-CoV2 in three people in a cluster that started from a restaurant owner returning from India.
The D614G mutation was first found in February in Europe and since then it has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV2 and is found in many swab samples across the world.
Researchers claim that there is a presence of D614G mutation in almost 97% of the COVID-19 infected people in the world.
As per the researchers, the mutation has given the virus some kind of biological edge enabling its global spread.
What is D614G mutation?
As it is well known that SARS-CoV2 is the virus that caused the disease COVID-19, D614G is the mutation that is present in the protein of the SARS-CoV2 virus that helps the virus to break into our body’s cells.
This mutation basically changes the amino acid at position 614 from aspartic acid to glycine, hence the name D614G.
Notably, SARS-CoV2 virus has undergone several mutations till now from the time the outbreak has emerged in December 2019. But, only this D614G mutation has greatly altered the behaviour of the virus.
The mutation first appeared in Italy after the first outbreak of the coronavirus in China.
How powerful is DG14G mutation?
Dr. Brette Corber, a popular geneticist conducted research on the virus and said from his findings that it is a fact that the D614G mutation variant is dominating everywhere and this will also indicate that coronavirus will now become better at spreading between people than the original version.
He mentioned in his research paper that the D614G variant is so dominant in the world that it has become a pandemic which is present even during the start of the outbreak in China.
However, he asserted that though there is a widespread presence of D614G, it does not necessarily alter the way the coronavirus is and how it is spread.
Does D614G increase the transmission of COVID-19?
All the viruses mutate constantly to adapt with the different temperature settings. While some of the mutations help the virus to reproduce some of them even hinder it while some of them make no changes to the virus.
When it comes to the D614G mutation, researchers from Scripps University in Florida explained that this mutated version is helping the SARS-CoV2 to latch on to the human cells easily, stick together better and function more effectively.
Another research claims that the mutated virus seemed more transmissible than the original virus as per their lab results. However, it is unclear how this will function in real time.
After considering all the studies by researchers, it is clear that the D614G version of SARS-COV2 is 10 fold more infectious than the original Wuhan-1 strain.
However, as the presence of D614G is detected in almost 97% of the swab samples across the world, there is no change required to be considered in the vaccine development. The same vaccines being developed for COVID-19 would suffice.
By Gayatri Yellayi