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Mutation making virus more infectious?
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Has Achieved Nirvana
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quote:
A mutated version of the coronavirus that has gripped Europe and the West is more infectious because it doesn't break as often while inside the body, a study has found.

Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute in Florida say the 'spike protein' that the virus uses to attach to cells in the airways has adapted since January.

It used to break off regularly while trying to bind to receptors in people's airways, which it would use to gain entry to the body, but is now more resilient, they say.

A genetic mutation which scientists around the world have been picking up on for months appears to have caused this spike to be less likely to snap, and also to force the coronaviruses to produce more of them to make itself more infectious.

As a result the virus appears to be approximately 10 times more infectious than it was when it first jumped to humans in China at the end of the year, scientists say.

The mutated version of the virus, dubbed G614 - a change from D614 - is a tiny change in its genetic make-up that scientists weren't sure what to make of when they found it.

But by May research had found it had become the dominant strain being found in Covid-19 patients across the UK, US, Canada and Italy.

Lead researcher on the Scripps institute's study, Dr Hyeryun Choe, told the Washington Post the mutation seemed to have happened to 'compensate' for the weakness of the spike protein in the past.

The Post reported it appeared to have become approximately 10 times more infectious as a result of this change.

The spike was stronger, they said, and as a result the virus was better able to bash through the gateway of the ACE-2 receptors.

Dr Choe told the Washington Post: 'The epidemiological study and our data together really explain why the [G variant's] spread in Europe and the US was really fast... This is not just accidental.'

However, this improved spike strength did not seem to be making people any sicker - or any less sick.

This, they suggested, could be because the spike had nothing to do with the virus's ability to reproduce - to replicate - once it was inside the body.


https://www.msn.com/en-us/heal...-BB167e7l?li=BBnb7Kz

WaPo version:

https://www.washingtonpost.com...science/?arc404=true


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Posts: 28368 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh Lord.

I hope not.


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Posts: 29604 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Isn't this typical virus behavior?

/serious /no snark
 
Posts: 22303 | Registered: 31 March 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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BTW, I wish the media would stop talking about a plateau. I've looked at the charts by country. I can kind of see what they mean.

But, the US has risen from about 1.5 to 2.0 confirmed cases on a linear scale in what seems like a matter of weeks. And, the CDC said the actual number is probably much higher.

Again, not trying to be negative. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
 
Posts: 22303 | Registered: 31 March 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Seems like it follows from natural selection that viruses tend toward higher infectiousness over time.


I’m not suggesting an immutable law. It isn’t necessary that a mutation that makes the virus more infectious occur. But if such a mutation does occur, it would follow that that mutation would become more prevalent over time than the less infectious versions.


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Posts: 32533 | Location: On the Hudson | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If it’s also less deadly or less physically debilitating, then that’s not so bad.


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Posts: 11617 | Registered: 01 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Minor Deity
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quote:
Originally posted by jon-nyc:
Seems like it follows from natural selection that viruses tend toward higher infectiousness over time.

I’m not suggesting an immutable law. It isn’t necessary that a mutation that makes the virus more infectious occur. But if such a mutation does occur, it would follow that that mutation would become more prevalent over time than the less infectious versions.


That makes sense. I read recently but unfortunately don't remember where, that viruses tend to become less deadly over time. This didn't make a lot of sense until I realized that the virus doesn't care whether you live or die, only that you stay infectious, ambulatory, and alive as long as possible.


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Posts: 14524 | Location: Florida | Registered: 22 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Axtremus:
If it’s also less deadly or less physically debilitating, then that’s not so bad.


Unless, of course, the increase in infectiousness is behind the increase we're seeing in cases among younger populations.

In that case, while the mutation might not make people any more or less sick (as stated in the article), if it is impacting more people, the total outcome is worse.

Isn't that the takeaway here?


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Posts: 14282 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't know.

But younger people congregate in massive crowds. I certainly did when I was in my 20's. I think this is apparently why the rate of infection is increasing among young people.

I've seen so many 'adults' behaving badly, too, going to jam packed bars and beaches, acting as if the pandemic didn't exist.

Sigh.
 
Posts: 22303 | Registered: 31 March 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The coronavirus has mutated in a way that might help the pathogen spread more easily, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.

Research is underway to confirm the possible mutation and its implications, Fauci said, adding that “there’s a little dispute about it.” Viruses naturally mutate and scientists have previously said they have observed minor mutations in the coronavirus that have not impacted its ability to spread or cause disease in any significant way.

The possible mutation that Fauci cited was reported on by investigators at Los Alamos National Laboratory in an article published by the journal Cell earlier Thursday. Virologists at Scripps Research in Florida also wrote about the mutation last month, saying it “enhances viral transmission.” It’s unclear when the mutation might have occurred.

“The data is showing there’s a single mutation that makes the virus be able to replicate better and maybe have high viral loads,” Fauci said in an interview with The Journal of the American Medical Association’s Dr. Howard Bauchner. “We don’t have a connection to whether an individual does worse with this or not; it just seems that the virus replicates better and may be more transmissible.”


https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/0...hony-fauci-says.html


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Posts: 28368 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The data is showing there’s a single mutation that makes the virus be able to replicate better and maybe have high viral loads,” Fauci said in an interview with The Journal of the American Medical Association’s Dr. Howard Bauchner. “We don’t have a connection to whether an individual does worse with this or not; it just seems that the virus replicates better and may be more transmissible.”


One thing I want to know is whether this would make masks less effective as a preventative measure.

If you need a certain amount of viral load to get infected, and masks contain a fair amount of that, then you should be protected. But if either you need a lower viral load to contract it (because it's more virulent), or a person with the virus gives off a larger amount... Couldn't either of these things decrease effectiveness of masks?


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Posts: 14282 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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