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Coronavirus has mutated but Covid vaccines won't be affected by G-strain: Study

Covid G-strain mutation: A recent study has found that mutation of coronavirus from D-strain to G-strain will not affect vaccines that are being currently developed.

The recent G-strain mutations in the novel coronavirus should not affect vaccines that are currently being developed against Covid-19, a recent study published in the scientific journal Nature has said. The study has been carried out by experts at the University of York.

Experts says most of the vaccines that are being currently developed to fight Covid-19 are modelled on the 'D-strain' of the virus. The 'D-strain' was the common sequence that was reportedly published early. However, since then, the virus has mutated into what is now being termed as the 'G-strain', and this is currently the dominant strain world over.

According to a report published in the Times of India, the G-strain accounts for nearly 85 per cent of published SARS-CoV-2 genomes. SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus that causes Covid-19.

"There had been fears the G-strain, within the main protein on the surface of the virus, would negatively impact on vaccines under development. But the research by Australia's national science agency the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), found no evidence the change would adversely impact the efficacy of vaccine candidates," TOI said quoting an official statement.

 The study published in nature is being led by Prof SS Vasan. According to TOI, Prof Vasan holds an honorary chair in health sciences at the University of York. He is also leading the Dangerous Pathogens Team at CSIRO.

Speaking to TOI, Prof Vasan said that the findings of their study is "good news" for the hundreds of Covid vaccines that are being developed world over.

A majority of these vaccines target the spike protein as "this binds to the ACE2 receptors in our lungs and airways, which are the entry point to infect cells", he told TOI.

As per the report, even though the virus has mutated into the G-strain, the study by experts at the University of York has confirmed that vaccine candidates are still effective.

"It also found the G-strain is unlikely to require frequent 'vaccine matching' where new vaccines need to be developed seasonally to combat the virus strains in circulation, as is the case with influenza," the report said.

Meanwhile, speaking about the research and its significance in context of the global Covid vaccine race, CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall told TOI the research was crucial as it brings the world a step closer to a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19.

Source: India Today
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