Double Mutant Coronavirus Variant in India

  • IASbaba
  • April 1, 2021
  • 0
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Double Mutant Coronavirus Variant in India

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – Health & GS-III – Sci and Tech

In news

  • A unique “double mutant” coronavirus variant — with a combination of mutations not seen anywhere else in the world — has been found in India. 

Key takeaways 

  • However, it is still to be established if this has any role to play in increased infectivity or in making COVID-19 more severe.
  • Genome sequencing of a section of virus samples by a consortium of 10 laboratories across India, (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics – INSACOG), revealed the presence of two mutations, E484Q and L452R together, in at least 200 virus samples.
  • Mutations in the virus per se are not surprising. 
  • Mutations that eliminate the effect of vaccines or the immune system or lead to increased cases are bigger causes of concern.
  • These two mutations have been individually identified in other variants of SARS-CoV-2 globally
  • They are also associated with a reduction in vaccine efficacy.
  • Their combined effect and biological implications have not yet been understood.
  • In the days ahead, the INSACOG will submit details of this variant to a global repository called GISAID and, if it merits, classify it as a “variant of concern” (VOC).

Do you know? 

  • So far, only three global VOCs have been identified: the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7), the South African (B.1.351) and the Brazilian (P.1) lineage.

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