The New strain of corona virus Discovered in the southeast of the United Kingdom it led to the identification of a distinct phylogenetic group due to the accumulation of mutations. These may have occurred in a patient with a chronic immunodeficiency disorder.
Viruses aim to survive and replicate in the body. To do this, they need to adapt as best as possible to the affected organism, which is achieved thanks Changes in your gene. These occur randomly and are highly favorable to be maintained in adjacent populations due to natural selection.
The new variant has a higher number of mutations than usual
Something technically called B.1.17 presents more changes than usual in its RNA. Most branches of the SARS-CoV-2 phylogenetic tree do not have more than a few mutations. There were 14 before the British mutation was diagnosed in late September, which would have appeared much faster than normal.
Which evolutionary processes led to an inheritance with similar characteristics? The scientific team suggests that it may have originated in an immunocompromised patient with a chronic infection.
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“Although these infections are rare and subsequent transmission from them is rare, a large number of new infections are unlikely to occur,” they explained in a statement posted on the web. virological.org.
Evolutionary dynamics and selective pressures on viral populations within this type of patient differ from those experienced in a common infection. The immune response may not be effective when selecting the human population for the virus.
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That is, viruses that arise to survive and replicate less adaptive mutations will do so anyway. This indicates that they may accumulate different genetic mutations over several months. Eventually, more genetically modified corona viruses will develop, which can spread to others, leading to new strains like the current one.
This is a hypothesis at the moment, which has not yet been proven or proven. What is known with a certain degree of confidence is that the virus accumulates many mutations very quickly from one person and three major subtypes have already been identified.