Bengaluru Samples Show 11 Mutations Each; Virus Mutating Fas
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As countries and authorities continue to face new challenges with novel strains of SARS-CoV-2 world over, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) scientists, who conducted a study on samples from consenting patients in Bengaluru, suggest that the virus is now mutating faster than before.

According to the team the three Bengaluru isolates had 27 mutations in their genomes with more than 11 mutations per sample. Their recent study, has identified multiple mutations and unique proteins in isolates of SARS-CoV-2 and also shown that the hosts produce several proteins of their own as their bodies launch an immunological defense in response to the viral attack.

To better understand how the virus is mutating and its protein biology, the team carried out a comprehensive “proteo-genomic” investigation – a series of analyses of SARS-CoV-2 isolates. The isolates or viral samples were recovered from nasal secretions of consenting Covid-19 positive individuals in Bengaluru,” IISc said in a statement.

Proteo-genomics is a field of biological research that utilises a combination of proteomics, genomics and transcriptomics to aid in the discovery and identification of peptides. The genomic analysis was done using next-generation sequencing (NGS), a technology that allows for rapid sequencing of the entire genome.

Researcher says that sequencing the genomes of viral strains from around the world is important because it helps keep track of mutations that are arising constantly. To understand the spread and evolutionary history of the virus, the team constructed a global phylogenetic tree, or a tree of relatedness, of viral isolates using the sequence data.

The phylogenetic analysis found that the Bengaluru isolates are most closely related to the one from Bangladesh. It also showed that the isolates in India have multiple origins rather than having evolved from a single ancestral variant.

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