The other mutation noted in Telangana is L46F while Andhra Pradesh has mutation N440K and Gujarat L54F. Representational image
HYDERABAD: A research paper of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), published in the Indian Academy of Sciences journal, has mentioned that over 5,000 different variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been found in India during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
The most dominant variant among them is A 23403G, discovered among 82.29 per cent of Coronavirus cases. The variant has D614G spike protein that is able to spread more quickly than the wild-type variant O, which emerged from Wuhan.
The O variant is, however, no longer seen anywhere in the world.
Researchers have determined that D614G protein mutation is more in human respiratory cells. For this reason, doctors on Day 1 found a few viruses in the lungs. Within 24 to 48 hours, they found that lungs had turned fully white with this virus. This has been one of the causes of deaths in India due to Covid-19, state medical experts.
This variant spread fast from May 2020, accounting for 42 per cent of samples tested. It was largely prevalent in Delhi, Telangana state, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. It later spread to Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar, where the numbers were fewer compared to other states.
Researchers have pointed out that D614G is the dominant mutation. If the new variant B.1.1.7 of Britain is found in more than 100 cases, it could become a cause for worry. As a result, researchers say it is important to carry out more genome sequencing in different areas of the country to control it. If it remains uncontrolled, it could overtake the D614G strain. They state that, luckily, there is so far no evidence that there is community transmission of B.1.1.7.
"We are not getting sufficient samples for testing as required. Sequencing is expensive and resources have to be provided for the same. Till regular and sufficient samples are not collected, it will be difficult to trace B.1.1.7. It is likely to overtake the present strain and drive the pandemic in 2021," as senior scientist at CCMB said.
B.1.1.7 has the ability to cause either mild or severe disease among people. This variant is associated with increased risk of death compared to other variants. Due to S gene target failure in the new variant, there is a likelihood of more cases being missed in viral diagnosis.
The other variant found in 81.12 per cent of population is C14408T, along with mutation P314L. This has also been dominant in all the states of India. There have been 89 variants of the virus exclusive only to Kerala. These have not spread to any other parts of the country. The other mutation noted in Telangana is L46F. Andhra Pradesh has mutation N440K and Gujarat L54F.
CCMB director Rakesh Mishra, author of the study, explained, "There is now emerging evidence that N440K, which emerged in Andhra Pradesh, is spreading a lot in the southern states. There is need for better surveillance to further understand its spread. The other two variants E484K and N501Y, which have higher transmission rates, are apparently low in India. This could also be because they are not being sufficiently sequenced. Accurate and timely detection of new variants may show greater infectivity or worse clinical symptoms. It is extremely important to check their spread to pre-empt disastrous consequences," the CCMB chief added.