Researchers at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) genetically sequenced the viral infections in 360 COVID patients. They found wide genetic variation in SARS-CoV-2 Virus Variants showing that all individual infections include multiple variants of the virus.

Research Shows All COVID-19 Infections Include a Wide Mix of SARS-CoV-2 Virus Variants

Reporting about the virus usually highlights a single dominant strain, the researchers noted. This leads to under-reporting virus genetic variation and can have serious consequences in public health planning and response. “Our work brings attention to the complexity of infectious diseases that is often over-simplified when considering only the most abundant virus in an infection, and we demonstrate the importance of examining the variations that are historically considered noise,” said Ernest (Ricky) Chan. He is the director of the bioinformatics core with the Cleveland Institute for Computational Biology at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. SARS-CoV-2 Virus Variants, “We see that genetic variants observed in low frequency in SARS-CoV-2 infections can be early indicators of new strains responsible for later transmission surges.” The paper, “COVID-19 Infection and Transmission Includes Complex Sequence Diversity,” was published on September 8, 2022, in the journal PLOS Genetics.

The CWRU research team performed full genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 viruses from 250 patients in Northeast Ohio. They also used similar data from another 110 patients with full genetic sequences of infecting viruses provided through international research collaborators. These data were developed in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, at the time when the Alpha variant and then the Delta variant were of major concern. This work revealed that mutations found in Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 were already present as relatively minor variations at least a year before Omicron and its many iterations became “variants of concern.” A major COVID-19 resurgence last winter was mostly attributed to Omicron and its own variations. SARS-CoV-2 Virus Variants, “Concentration on a majority consensus of virus variants within the global research community diverts attention from genetic variation that may contribute significantly to the continuing evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Peter Zimmerman. He is a professor in the Department of Pathology at the School of Medicine. “Focus on majority variants is a critical first step in development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, however, the research community needs to quantify and report out variation, so that the public health community and the general public are better prepared and nimble in response to the ever-evolving virus.”

Source: This news is originally published by theverge

By Web Team

Technology Times Web team handles all matters relevant to website posting and management.