CCMB scientists analyse genomic landscape of SARS-CoV-2 in I
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In a development that could result in the use of a common vaccine or drug to fight the novel coronavirus, CCMB scientists said the clade or genetic group circulating in India has 70% similarity with the major strain around the world.

Viruses have different clades and they need different vaccines or drugs to target them. If the clade is common, then one vaccine or drug is sufficient to fight it.

The clade that is now dominant in India is A2a, which has a similarity with 70% of genomes studied worldwide. The earlier dominant clade in India, A3i, has waned, resulting in the increase of A2a genetic group of the pandemic virus.

"At present, about 70% of all Indian as well as global SARS-CoV-2 genomes fall into this clade (A2a). As expected for a strain which is more infectious, A2a clade quickly became dominant in India just like everywhere else,” said CCMB director Dr Rakesh K Mishra.

Mishra, who is a co-author of the CCMB study, however, said there was no evidence to state that this mutation is clinically a more difficult one.

“No clade at present has been conclusively shown to be associated with a more severe form of Covid-19 or an increased risk of death,” he said.

The findings of the study carried out with scientists from the Institute of Integrative Biology as collaborators, are now peer-reviewed and published in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases published by the Oxford University Press.

CCMB team had analysed more than 2,000 SARSCoV-2 genomes from India available in the public domain to understand the various strains in circulation.

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