According to a new study conducted in the United States, the covid-19 that continues to spread could be even more contagious.
In the United States, researchers at a Houston Hospital analyzed the structure of SARS-CoV-2 that infected the inhabitants of that city in two waves, and they observed a mutation in the strain that makes it more contagious.
The scientists examined more than 5,000 coronavirus genomes that were recovered in the earliest phase of the pandemic recorded in that locality and a more recent wave of infections that is still ongoing.
According to the information published on its Cubadebate web portal, the experts came to the conclusion that almost all the strains present in the second wave would have experienced a mutation, known as “D614G”, which increases the number of “peaks” in the virus in the form of a crown and that, in turn, allow it to bind to and infect cells.
In the study published this Wednesday on the MedRxiv prepress server, it was reported that this alteration helps the virus to spread faster but does not make it more lethal.
According to Prensa Latina, the specialists point out that almost all the strains present in the second wave underwent a metamorphosis, known as D614G, which increases the number of spikes in the corona-shaped virus and, in turn, allows it to join the cells and infect them.
However, the report indicates, although patients infected with the mutated strain had significantly higher amounts of coronavirus, they did not show that the transformations have made it more lethal.
The president of pathology and genomic medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital, Jim Musser, specified that the single alteration in the peak protein results in more virus in the upper respiratory tract and that probably helps faster transmission, but does not makes it a worse disease.