A new coronavirus mutation has become the most dominant strain of the virus — and is causing outbreaks to spread more quickly across the world, an expert said.
Professor Nick Loman, of the University of Birmingham, who is part of the COVID-19 Genomics Consortium, told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program that the mutation, known as D614G, is forming clusters more quickly in the UK than the original virus from Wuhan.
“It exists in the spike protein, which is a very important way that the coronavirus can enter human cells, and we have been noticing in the UK and worldwide that this mutation has been increasing in frequency,” Loman said. “This mutation was predicted first by computer modeling to have some impact on the structure of that protein and the ability of the virus to bind and enter cells and then quite recently was shown in laboratory experiments to increase the infectivity of cells.”
Scientists came to the conclusion after analyzing more than 40,000 genomes in the UK, according to Loman.
The new mutation, however, is not believed to cause a greater risk of death or lengthier hospital stays, the Telegraph reported.
Loman called the mutation “the most dominant mutation — it’s about 75 percent of cases.”
“This increase in this mutation is a worldwide phenomenon,” he added. “The original virus out of Wuhan had the D-type, but the G-type has become much more dominant across the world, including the UK.”
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SOURCE: New York Post, Amanda Woods