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Two new coronavirus variants most likely to occur in the United States identified in Ohio: Researchers

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Ohio researchers announced on Wednesday that they have identified two Coronavirus Probably a variant that originated in the United States.

“Researchers do not yet know the prevalence of the strain in the population,” as one of the new strains was identified in one patient in the state. Wexner Medical Center, Ohio Where the researcher first identified the variant.

The new variant “has the same mutation as the British strain, but is likely to have occurred in a viral strain that already exists in the United States,” officials said.

In addition, researchers also discovered what was called an “evolutionary strain with three new mutations” that became “the predominant virus in Columbus during the three weeks of late December and January 2020.” ..

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“This new Columbus strain has the same genetic backbone as the previous cases we studied, but these three mutations represent significant evolution,” said Vice-Chairman of the Molecular Pathology Division. Dr. Dan Jones, the lead author of the study, said. statement. “We know that this change did not come from the UK or South Africa branch of the virus.”

They said the Columbus variant was named COH.20G / 501Y.

Survey results published as preprint server BioRxiv Not yet peer reviewed.

Researchers at the medical center have identified new strains by sequencing the SARS-CoV-2 virus genome, which they have been doing since the beginning of the pandemic to monitor “viral evolution,” they said. ..

“Mutations detected in both viruses, like the British strain, affect the surface-studded spikes of SARS-Cov-2, which allow the virus to attach and invade human cells. Like the British strain, mutations in the Columbus strain are likely to increase the infectivity of the virus and make it easier for the virus to be transmitted from person to person, “said university researchers.

Experts have expressed concern that mutations may affect the efficacy of existing COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. However, “there are no data to believe that these mutations affect the efficacy of vaccines currently in use,” said Peter Moller, co-author of the study and chief scientific officer at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Says. In the statement, the director of research at the Faculty of Medicine.

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“It’s important not to overreact to this new variant until we get additional data,” Moller continued. “We need to understand the effects of mutations on the transmission of the virus, the prevalence of strains in the population, and whether it has a greater impact on human health.”

Monitoring the evolution of the virus is important for understanding how mutations affect the way doctors diagnose and treat the virus, he said.

“The virus mutates naturally and evolves over time, but the changes seen in the last two months were more pronounced than in the first few months of the pandemic,” Jones added.

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