Like all viruses, corona viruses are constantly mutating. There are said to be several thousand mutations of SARS-CoV-2 worldwide. Now researchers have found that a variant appears more contagious than the previous form. However, it should not be more dangerous.
The scientists point out that the pathogen attacks the cells more easily. The reason for this is a change in the virus surface on the so-called spike proteins. Once penetrated into the cell, the pathogen multiplies three to six times better.
Around 80 percent of infected people worldwide carry this virus variant.
Researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, Duke University in North Carolina and the British University of Sheffield collaborated on the study and analyzed genome sequences from SARS-CoV-2.
Teams already examined the virus in the laboratory in April. According to “Cell” criticism, the researchers initiated additional examinations: Among other things, they analyzed data from 999 Covid-19 patients from England. It emerged that subjects with the new variant carried more virus particles.
However, the researchers found no evidence that the changed form leads to more severe disease courses. In addition, antibodies apparently fight the variant as effectively as the original virus form. This has been shown in laboratory tests with samples from recovered patients, the researchers said.