SARS-CoV-2 Virus New Mutation Pattern Observed
In Western Parts Of India
90 whole-genome sequences of the COVID-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus were submitted recently to the global database, GISAID, by an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), the National Centre for Cell Science (DBT-NCCS) in Pune.
From the samples of patients who tested positive for COVID in Pune, Satara, and Nashik districts of Maharashtra, the sequences were obtained. In order to identify any variations, these sequences were compared with those reported from other Indian and global sources. In most of the sequences, four variations were present, and these four variations were found to be predominant. In samples from symptomatic patients, more prominently from women, three mutations appeared to be more frequent. Six mutations were found absent in senior patients but found to be frequent in the samples from younger patients as there were some correlations observed between sequence variations and patient age.
In the viral genomes from each of the districts included in this study, new and distinct patterns of mutations were observed. Thus, these analyses revealed a newly emerging pattern of unique linked mutations in the genome sequences from western India, which indicates that during the lockdown period, there might have been region-specific evolution of the virus genome.
NCCS carried out this work with support from Dr. T. P. Lahane, Director, DMER, Maharashtra, and in collaboration with the Armed Forces Medical College and B. J. Medical College in Pune. The researchers uploaded the findings of this study on the preprint server, bioRxiv.
As a participant of DBT’s pan-India 1000 genome consortium, which was set up to sequence the genomes of the virus from clinical samples collected at different locations across the country, genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 was undertaken by NCCS. The National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) coordinates this initiative and it involves several national research institutions, aimed at understanding the genetic variations in the virus across the country. Recently, the first milestone of sequencing 1000 SARS-CoV-2 genomes was crossed by the consortium.
So far, around 75,000 viral genomic sequences of Covid-19 virus from across the globe have been uploaded on the global GISAID database with the global rush to sequence its genome since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the identification of the virus. Valuable insights that are necessary to identify potential intervention strategies, to design and evaluate diagnostic tests, and to track and trace the outbreak, are provided by the genome sequences. Through genome sequencing along with other ongoing diagnostics and research initiatives, NCCS has been contributing to the national efforts towards these goals.
SARS-CoV-2 Virus New Mutation Pattern Observed In West India