Second most prevalent coronavirus type in India

Second most prevalent coronavirus type in India: Discovered

Researchers at  CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) lab have identified a coronavirus type that might be the 2nd most prevalent type in India and might consist of 3.5% of the genomes around the world.

A2a type of SARS-CoV-2 is the most dominant type in India. 45% of out of 361 genomes evaluated by the team were A2a type. There are 11 SARS-CoV-2 types discovered internationally with at least 6 of them found in India.

Evolutionary resemblances

The collection of SARS-CoV-2 viruses that share evolutionary similarities and are grouped together based on characteristic mutations or gene similarities are – the coronavirus types.

These classifications work in determining whether specific strains are specifically infective, spread out more easily, whether some could be less prone to certain vaccines, and how they are likely to evolve with time.

Earlier research studies have revealed that while type O was the first ancestral family of the virus identified from China, it’s the type A2a – that has emerged dominant globally as a result of a mutation in its genes that makes that coronavirus’ spike to infiltrate the

lungs more efficiently.

Scientists from the CSIR-CCMB and the CSIR-IGIB mentioned in their paper that’s not yet peer-reviewed that “Epidemiological evaluations show that the common ancestor (of this subtype of viruses) originated in February 2020 and perhaps resulted in an outbreak followed by countrywide spread”, and the paper is available on the bioRxiv preprint server for scientific criticism.

Rakesh Mishra, Director, CSIR-CCMB, and co-authors of the study said: “The samples from the state authorities show that this type originated from a person in Telangana who had actually traveled from Indonesia, Singapore or someplace in South-East Asia”.

A2i type became the leading type in Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Delhi – the 3 States that are amongst those that collectively represent more than 1,00,000 cases, as of 02 June 2020. There are around 1,90,000 positive cases in India.

There is no proof of whether A3i is a lot more virulent as of now – that it’s associated with more fatalities. Divya Tej Sowpati, Co-author, Scientist, CCMB said “It is prematurely to comment regarding the virulence at present. We are in the process of acquiring more information, and we’ll have more clearness on this when that information gets evaluated and this would be in a few weeks”.

He added, “The A3i type stood out from other types due to difference at 4 different areas in its gene. Likewise, our evaluations suggest that compared to A2a type (the other widespread clade in Inda), A3i type mutates slowly. This is usually adverse for the virus, but extra information and time are required to see if this is really the situation”.