The SARS-CoV-2 virus has already suffered several mutations, and the newer variants are making it more infectious. Medical experts aren’t yet completely sure if COVID-19 can cause more severe illness than before nor if the vaccine efficacy is impacted by the new strains.
The New York Times writes that new studies emphasize how coronaviruses often mix their genetic components, which in the end could lead to the emergence of dangerous new strains.
Mixing large portions of genome
When it’s making copies of itself, the new coronavirus has the property of mixing large portions of its genome. The virus could become more dangerous through the process known as recombination. But when it comes to the long term, it can all lead to helping researchers find powerful drugs against the coronavirus.
Nels Elde, who’s an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Utah, declared:
There’s no question that recombination is happening,
And in fact, it’s probably a bit underappreciated and could be at play even in the emergence of some of the new variants of concern.
We wrote in a previous article about how Bloomberg raises awareness about a new COVID-19 mutation of the new strain found in UK last year. The concern is that the new mutation can make the virus more resistant to known vaccines.
Julian Tang, who is a professor and clinical virologist at the University of Leicester, declared:
The reassurances from recent studies showing that the mRNA vaccines will still offer optimum protection against the original UK variant may no longer apply.
Worldometers.info reveals that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused, until now, over 105 million infections and more than 2.3 million deaths worldwide.