Scientists in Iceland detect 40 mutations of the Novel Coronavirus

  • The researchers found the mutation in the gene of the news Coronavirus after analysing swabs of COVID-19 patients

  • Scientists said seven of the infections came from outside of Iceland

The new Coronavirus has already killed 19, 625 and infected 435,006 people in all around the world. Recently scientists in Iceland have found 40 mutations of the deadly virus among people affected by COVID-19 in the country and the infection came from the people who attended the same football match in the UK.

As per the reports, the researchers at Iceland noticed the mutation or the small change in the gene of the Coronavirus after analysing swabs of COVID-19 patients in the country, where, as of now 648 cases had been reported.

The Coronavirus mutation

Face Masks
Coronavirus Pixabay

It should be noted that in the UK, scientists have decided to track the spread of the pathogen and watch for emerging mutations by using gene sequencing technology to analyse the strains causing thousands of COVID-19 infections across Britain. The UK government said in a statement that researchers will collect information from infected patients' samples in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

However, as per a researcher who talked to the Washington Post that there are only around four to 10 genetic differences between the coronavirus strains that have infected Americans and those of the original virus in Wuhan. Peter Thielen, a Johns Hopkins molecular geneticist said, "That's a relatively small number of mutations for having passed through a large number of people. At this point, the mutation rate of the virus would suggest that the vaccine developed for SARS-CoV-2 would be a single vaccine, rather than a new vaccine every year like the flu vaccine."

It should be noted that as per the international scientists studying the coronavirus encouraged that its low mutation rate could mean that a single vaccine is possible.

Iceland research on COVID-19

US covid19
Covid19 Pixabay

In Iceland, healthcare authorities, along with bio-pharmaceutical firm deCODE Genetics have tested 9,768 people, including those who had already been diagnosed with the disease, people with symptoms and high-risk populations. While around 5,000 people who did not show any symptoms for the infection agreed to participate, 48 of them tested positive for the COVID-19.

The results of the tests helped the Reykjavík-based company deCODE Genetics to determine how the new Coronavirus entered Iceland in the first place. As per daily main, Kári Stefánsson, director of the company said that some of the infection came from Austria. In addition, Stefánsson mentioned, "There is another type from people who were infected in Italy. And there is a third type of virus found in people infected in England. Seven people had attended a football match in England."

A virologist with the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Copenhagen, Allan Randrup Thomsen revealed that "It is interesting with the 40 specific variants that fall into three clusters that can be traced back to specific sources of infection."

The professor added that this virus is known as a virus that can mutate reasonably violently and the scientists have seen reports of variants from China. "That way, it fits well with what one expects," said Prof Thomsen. A previous study, which was published earlier in March, conducted in China suggested that two separate types of the new Coronavirus had been infecting people since the outbreak in December in 2019. Among these two types, one is more aggressive than the other one.

However, over time, it is likely that the new virus will become more contagious, but the variants that are responsible for severe symptoms, may die out, said Dr Derek Gatherer, an infectious disease specialist at Lancaster University who also stated that this process may take a couple of years.

Related topics : Coronavirus