Researchers at the Methodist Hospital of Houston found a more infectious strain of coronavirus that is changing to avoid an immune response. The city has already had two outbreaks of infection, which are associated with this strain, reports Reuters.
Houston is an ethnically diverse city with a population of 7 million people. Scientists have studied more than five thousand genomes of viruses detected in it. The study found that almost all second wave strains had a mutation known as D614G, which increases the number of ‘thorns’ on the coronavirus. These spikes allow the virus to bind to cells, increasing the ability of the mutated virus to infect them.
Patients infected with this variant of the strain had a much larger number of viral cells. Scientists also noted that several mutations were found in some areas of spike protein, the main target of coronavirus vaccines currently under development. This indicates that the virus can change to avoid an immune response from the body.
However, there is no evidence yet that the mutations in the virus have made it more lethal.
As reported by TOP NEWS, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to hold a high-level online conference in the near future with the participation of states interested in cooperation on coronavirus vaccines.
“We are ready to share our experience and continue to cooperate with all states and international structures, including the supply of Russian vaccine to other countries, which has proved its reliability, safety and efficiency”, – said the Russian President.