Covid 19: why is it spreading faster than at the beginning of the epidemic?
Since its appearance in China, Covid-19 has changed into a new form. According to the researchers, this variant of the virus is more likely to infect cells.
Since December 2019, the Covid-19 epidemic has spread worldwide. There is currently no treatment to cure the coronavirus. Therefore, the scientific community continues its research to stop or slow its spread. A new variant of SARS-CoV-2 recently appeared. According to the results of a recent study published in the journal Cell, this mutation is more likely to infect cells than the one that appeared at the beginning of the epidemic.
Researchers from the universities of Sheffield, Duke and the Los Alamos National Laboratory presented their work on Thursday. The new variant of the coronavirus is called D614G. This mutation affects only part of Covid-19's DNA, including where the tip pierces the virus and infects cells in the human body.
Covid-19: what is the impact of this new variant on the severity of the disease?
The researchers found that the mutation increased viral load, but that it had no effect on the severity of the disease. The scientists also performed laboratory tests. Their results demonstrated that the D614G variant could infect three to six times more human cells.
The study authors believe Covid-19 is more infectious than it was at the start of the pandemic, but they still don't know if it is more human-transmissible. "We still don't know if a person is worse off with D614G or not. It seems that the virus replicates better and may be more transmissible, but we are still in the stage of trying to confirm it." there are some very good virus geneticists working on it, "said Anthony Fauci, director of the US Institute of Infectious Diseases, during a video conference for the scientific journal Jama.
Last April, scientists published their first research on this mutation. They raised the alarm on D614G saying that it makes the virus more transmissible. However, these claims had been highly controversial by the scientific community. Therefore, the editors of the journal Cell had asked them to do additional research to confirm their hypothesis.