7,684 COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) Variants Detected From Indian Samples
Indian scientists have discovered 7,684 variants in the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) genomes from the samples isolated across the nation. A newly published article examining the COVID-19 variants in India has as well enlisted the top 61 distinct Indian variants with the description of genomic mutation and respective amino acid modification in the concerned viral protein.
The research article titled ‘SARS-CoV-2 genomics: An Indian perspective on sequencing viral variants” written by the researchers from CCMB (Cellular & Molecular Biology), Hyderabad highlights the need to stay alert for emerging new strains and regional disease outbreaks. The study stated that the evolution of coronavirus can make it more infectious through adaptive genetic mutations that boost affinity or strengthen the attachment to host cells, while flees mutations that can help avoid the immune reaction have a grave association with therapeutics & vaccine and can drastically affect the mortality and severity of the disease.
The results of the study become important as in many corners of the world, mutants of SARS-CoV-2 are forming a new burst in COVID-19 cases. The latest rise in the count of infections in few Indian states might even be because of the presence of viral variants, it is highly feared.
The research article even emphasized the prominent spike mutation of global disturbance which has to be carefully watched in Indian cases. This involves the Nigerian, Brazilian, South African, and UK variants and those which carry the lineage of the mentioned variants. A mutation referred to as N440K with the highest occurrences in Andhra Pradesh is included in the list as well.
The ongoing joined initiative has the involvement of 35 labs from 22 states in India. GEAR-19 (Genome Evolution ANalysis Resource for Covid-19) initiative is organized by CCMB.
The paper specifies that the mutation case of coronavirus has been under continuous global inspection to discern the effect of these modifications on the antigenicity and infectivity of the virus. While major kinds of mutations are of less or no effect, sometimes the virus gets a mutation that provides a benefit over other strains, it indicates. The paper further added that the spike protein is employed by the virus to invade human cells using the ACE2 receptor. Hence, spike mutation can significantly enable much better affinity or attachment and facilitates easier invasion into the host cells. Mutations can supposedly even make the virus resistant to host antibody-mediated neutralization and hence need to be determined and checked for the efficiency of antibody medicines.
Mentioning that a few of the spike mutations lately found that are of concern are E484K, Q493K, N440K, and N439K, and since they are susceptible to immune flee the article claims that the N440K Covid-19 variant has been identified in 42% of the samples collected from Andra Pradesh & E484K in 3 specimens collected from Maharashtra. Many of the mutation types are absent in lately sequenced samples retrieved from Indian isolated and hs to be actively observed, it recommends.
Even among the leading 61 non-synonymous SARS-CoV-2 variants in India, not all are equally common in Indian specimens. The scientists claim that few of these variants are comparatively new and thus have a low occurrence among the samples sequenced within India so far, yet warn that they are powerful candidates for enhanced viral immune escape and/or transmission.
The study deduces that as the COVID-19 outbreak set foot in its 2nd year, it is important to stay alerted for emergent and new strains and regional disease outbreaks. As several vaccines are introduced, the COVID-19 virus will be exposed to evolution modes and new selection pressures, it claims.
The research likewise points out that India has up until now not been characterizing SARSCoV-2 isolates to entire capacity, having transferred only around 6,400 genomes of more than 10.4 million recorder cases, which is 0.06%. It suggested that using genomic epidemiology advances by assessing and enhancing sequencing initiatives following local spikes will certainly be successful in staying over mutation of concern while their effects and biology are explored in an extensive manner. Exploring the virus using a genomic lens has served a vital function in tackling key issues in padamen=ic regulation so far.
A new nation-wide consortium called INSACOG was developed in December 2020 to find new and spreading variants with genome sequencing throughout multiple states. One of the major objectives of INSACOG is to characterize 5% of total COVID-19 positive cases within the nation.
COVID-19 Variants In India, COVID-19 Variants, In India