According to a new study published in Science, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have provided evidence towards SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes the COVID-19 infection, mutating.
This new strain of coronavirus is called D614G, and it first emerged in Europe and has since become the most common strain in the world. The study’s findings indicate that the new strain of coronavirus spreads faster than the original one, but luckily, animal studies indicate that it’s not associated with a more severe disease.
On top of that, the study also found that while the new strain of coronavirus spreads faster, its slightly more sensitive to neutralization by antibody drugs, such as vaccines. For more information on this story, check out this link here.
Ralph Baric, professor of epidemiology at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health and professor of microbiology and immunology at the UNC School of Medicine, said, ”
The D614G virus outcompetes and outgrows the ancestral strain by about 10-fold and replicates extremely efficiently in primary nasal epithelial cells, which are a potentially important site for person-to-person transmission.”