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They examined more than 5,000 genomes of viruses found in the earliest phases of the pandemic in Houston, a city of 7 million ethnically diverse infection current ongoing.
The study, which has not been reviewed by outside experts, found that nearly all strains in the second wave had a mutation, known as D614G, which has been shown to increase the number of spikes in crown-shaped viruses.
Quoting from Reuters, recently, this spike is what allows viruses to bind to and infect cells, increasing that virus’ ability mutate to infect cells.
The Houston researchers said patients infected with the variant had significantly higher viral loadings at initial diagnosis.
But they found little evidence that the mutations in the virus had made them more lethal. Researchers also noted severity Covid-19, a disease caused by a virus, is more closely related to the patient’s underlying medical and genetic conditions.
They also said some of the spike protein regions – the main target of a coronavirus vaccine now in development – showed multiple mutations. This may indicate that the virus is changing to avoid an immune response.
Previous research has shown that corona virus mutate and develop while adapting to its human host.