John Hopkins University, stated that the total number of COVID-19 cases have increased to 2,17,06,031 across the world and the death has gone up to 7,75,926 as per the latest data.
On Sunday, Health Ministry of Malaysia announced that D614G, a mutation of SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes Covid-19 has been detected at least three of the 45 cases in a cluster that started from a restaurant owner returning from India and breached his 14 days of home quarantine.
Dr. Hisham said that, “This test is an early test and there are several follow-up tests in progress to test several other cases, including index cases for both these clusters. Therefore, this means that people need to be aware and be more careful because the Covid-19 virus with this D614G mutation has been proven to be detected in Malaysia”. “It is found to be 10 times easier to infect other individuals and spread easily if spread by the individual ‘super spreader'”.
Sars-CoV-2 has undergone several mutations since the pandemic emerged in December 2019. However, only one of these mutations has so far been single out as possibly altering Sars-CoV-2 behavior, namely D614G.
The D614G mutation was first detected in February in Europe and since then has become the dominant variant of SARS-CoV-2, found is swab samples across the world . As per some researchers, the mutation is deemed to have given the virus some kind of biological edge enabling its global spread.
SARS-CoV-2 is the official name of the virus that causes the disease Covid-19. And D614G is situated within the protein making up the virus ‘spike’ its uses to break into our cells. This mutation changes the amino acid at position 614, from D (aspartic acid) to G (glycine), so the name, D-614-G.
The mutation appeared sometime after the initial Wuhan outbreak, probably in Italy, as per a BCC report in July, this strain was seen in as many as 97% of samples around the world.
In July, in a research paper , Dr. Korber said that the D614G is so dominant, it is now the pandemic, it has been for some time, perhaps even since the start of the epidemic in places like UK and the east coast of the US. Therefore, while evidence is mounting that this mutation is not neutral, its does not necessarily change how we should think about the virus and its spreading.
University in Florida, in a test stated that, “the mutated virus is better at entering human cells than those without the variation , changes to the spike protein the virus uses to latch on to human cells seem to allow it to stick together better and function more effectively.”
Senior consultant at the National University of Singapore and president-elect of the International Society of Infectious Disease, Paul Tambyah, said that “evidence suggests the proliferation of the D614G mutation in some parts of the world has coincided with a drop in death rates, suggesting it less lethal” . He also added that, “most viruses tend to become less virulent as they mutate.”
Earlier it was speculated that, for different variants different vaccines will be developed. However, most of the vaccines development are based on a diiferent region of the spike, therefore this should have not an impact on their development.
A study in WHO in China, reported that the G614 variant remained susceptible to neutralization by antibodies isolated from infected patients. Moreover, given how most of the circulating SARS-CoV-2 around the world is the D614G variant now, one vaccine is likely to do the work, suggested by researchers.