What is known about the new strain of coronavirus

Europe and Russia are closing communication with the UK due to the discovery of a new pathogen COVID-19 there. Scientists know that it spreads faster than other strains. What else is known about the new type of coronavirus – in the RBC review

All viruses are susceptible to mutations, and the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus is no exception. The world’s leading experts have repeatedly warned that it will mutate. “The virus that is circulating now is not the one that circulated, say, at the beginning of the year. Because practically in all countries, the population of the virus has changed, ”American virologist Konstantin Chumakov commented to RBC at the end of August.

According to him, even then there were some mutations that changed the properties of the virus and made it less dangerous and deadly.

According to the member of the British Advisory Group on Threats from New Respiratory Viruses under the Government (NERVTAG) Dr. Müge Cevik, a total of 4 thousand types of coronavirus mutations were identified during the observations.

What is known about the new mutation

The next mutation was announced on December 19 by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Because of her, the Boritan government had to change the quarantine rules for the Christmas period and significantly tighten the restrictions. The new strain, dubbed VUI – 202012/01, was first identified in mid-September, WHO said.

What has changed in the virus

According to British researchers, scientists are now most concerned about changes in the mutation spike protein – the part of the virus that allows it to enter the cells of the lungs, throat and nasal cavity by interacting with the ACE-2 receptor. This mutation can enhance the ability of the virus to interact with ACE-2. The new strain is distinguished from other variants by 17 resistant mutations – compared to other varieties, this is a lot, writes molecular biologist Irina Yakutenko.

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