The analyzes were carried out by a team of researchers from University College London, which was based on more than 10,000 mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As it turns out, unlike what we have heard in the media, there is no evidence that some varieties are more lethal and others have a large higher transmission rate. Of course, the virus, like all the others, is constantly mutating, but at the moment these changes have no effect on the issues of interest to us. And although SARS-CoV-2 is a new virus for us, it can be safely said that at the moment it is difficult to identify another one so scrupulously and planetwatching a mass scale studied.
In the new research, the team relied on a global database of virus genomes from more than 40,000 people in 99 countries, from which they managed to isolate as many as 12,706 unique genome mutations and eventually find 185 specific mutations that appeared independently under at least three circumstances. The latter are especially important because their regular, independent appearance may suggest virus adaptation - in this particular case, scientists wanted to check whether they affect the infectivity or transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2. As it turned out, although 185 of the returning mutations may suggest some adaptation of the virus to the host, in this case they remained neutral in terms of the ability to infect or spread.
Coronavirus mutations can occur as a result of three processes, i.e. errors in replication, the meeting of the two variants in the host's body and changes resulting from their interaction, and in the adaptation process in response to the host's immune system. New research on SARS-CoV-2 suggests that since its genome was tracked early in the year, most modifications have come from a response to the host's natural immunity, and it now appears that the virus has already reached optimal alignment. Moreover, there are no signs that it has mutated to a higher transmissivity form - of course, there is no guarantee that it will not happen in the future, especially with the first vaccinations. Then the virus will be forced to adapt again, but scientists are prepared for it and ready for further analysis: - Information from the vaccine front looks great. The virus may require mutations escaping vaccinations, but we are confident that we will be able to label them immediately, allowing vaccines to be modified if necessary, they explain.