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Minimal SARS-CoV-2 Diversity Suggests Global Vaccine Is Feasible: Study

According to the researchers, global samples show SARS-CoV-2 to be less diverse than other viruses such as HIV, influenza and dengue. This may aid in the development of a global vaccine against COVID-19

Minimal SARS-CoV-2 Diversity Suggests Global Vaccine Is Feasible: Study
Highlights
  • Researchers studied samples from 84 countries, scanned them for variations
  • Researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 has mutated minimally since December 2019
  • 1 vaccine will be sufficient to combat strains of COVID-19, suggests study

Washington: Genetic analysis of sequences from more than 27,000 individuals infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 reveals that the virus has mutated minimally since December 2019, suggesting one vaccine would be sufficient to combat global infections. The study was conducted by a team of scientists from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research led by Morgane Rolland, chief of viral genetics and systems serology for the WRAIR Military HIV Research Program and Dr Kayvon Modjarrad, Director of the institute’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Program. A manuscript detailing the findings was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Also Read: United States Of America Backs Out From Global Effort To Develop, Distribute COVID-19 Vaccine

To characterise SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus diversification since the beginning of the pandemic they aligned 18,514 independent virus genome sequences sampled from individuals in 84 countries and scanned them for variations. Analyses reveal low estimates of genetic differentiation following the initial outbreak and indicate that, so far, the SARS-CoV-2 genome has evolved through a mostly random process rather than through adaptation to the human hosts it encounters.

Like other reports, we noticed that the D614G mutation in the Spike has rapidly increased in frequency since the beginning of the epidemic, but we could not link this mutation to specific adaptive forces, said Morgane Rolland.

Also Read: In Odisha, Preparation On For Second Phase Of Human Clinical Trial Of COVID Vaccine

“When viruses replicate and spread in the population, we expect to see some mutations and some can become fixed very rapidly in an epidemic just by random chance,” Morgane Rolland noted that linking genotypes to phenotypes is complicated and more research is needed to fully understand the functional consequences of the D614G mutation in SARS-CoV-2.

Given the low level of genetic variation, a promising vaccine candidate would likely be equally efficacious against all currently circulating strains of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Viral diversity has challenged vaccine development efforts for other viruses such as HIV, influenza and dengue, but global samples show SARS-CoV-2 to be less diverse than these viruses, said Morgane Rolland. We can therefore be cautiously optimistic that viral diversity should not be an obstacle for the development of a broadly protective vaccine against COVID-19 infection.

Dr Kayvon Modjarrad co-leads the institute’s COVID-19 response efforts, including the development of a vaccine against COVID-19. WRAIR’s leading vaccine candidate is built on a Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle platform and is expected to enter human testing before 2021. The vaccine is paired with a proprietary adjuvant that was also developed at WRAIR, the Army Liposome Formulation, to further boost the immune response.

Also Read: Fair Distribution Of COVID-19 Vaccine A Big Challenge: WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan

Scientists are working hard to accelerate the development of a COVID-19 vaccine that is safe and effective for the entire world, now and in the years to come. These data are critical to informing the field’s collective efforts in getting a vaccine that is rapidly scalable and universally applicable to all populations, said Dr Kayvon Modjarrad.

He added, “Based upon WRAIR’s long experience developing vaccines for other viruses and recent work on coronaviruses, we have been able to move quickly to accelerate research efforts to combat this pandemic that has threatened global health and military readiness.”

WRAIR was established 127 years ago to combat these types of health threats and has played a role in the development of nearly half of the vaccines in public use today.

Morgane Rolland, whose research usually focuses on HIV viral genetics, has shifted her attention to COVID-19 during the current global health emergency.

It’s critical that people in various fields come together as we focus on learning everything we can about this virus, she said. Teamwork will be vitally important to stem the tide of this pandemic.

Also Read: Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine’s Phase Two Trial Begins At Pune Hospital

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,43,68,460Cases
22,50,84,762Active
3,40,45,666Recovered
52,38,032Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,43,68,460 and 52,38,032 have died; 22,50,84,762 are active cases and 3,40,45,666 have recovered as on December 3, 2021 at 1:36 pm.

India

3,46,15,757 9,216Cases
99,976 213Active
3,40,45,666 8,612Recovered
4,70,115 391Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,15,757 confirmed cases including 4,70,115 deaths. The number of active cases is 99,976 and 3,40,45,666 have recovered as on December 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,37,221 796

10,882 180

64,85,290 952

1,41,049 24

Kerala

51,51,919 4,700

45,030 252

50,66,034 4,128

40,855 320

Karnataka

29,96,833 363

6,772 169

29,51,845 191

38,216 3

Tamil Nadu

27,28,350 715

8,155 45

26,83,691 748

36,504 12

Andhra Pradesh

20,73,252 159

2,138 11

20,56,670 169

14,444 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,417 12

93 1

16,87,413 11

22,911

West Bengal

16,17,408 657

7,690 22

15,90,208 667

19,510 12

Delhi

14,41,190 217

307 21

14,15,785 196

25,098

Odisha

10,49,597 252

2,211 26

10,38,971 276

8,415 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,870 37

328 12

9,92,949 25

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,827 21

213 10

9,45,659 11

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,570 50

318 25

8,17,158 24

10,094 1

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,199 12

128 4

7,82,543 8

10,528

Haryana

7,71,760 27

178 9

7,61,528 18

10,054

Bihar

7,26,230 5

32 0

7,16,534 4

9,664 1

Telangana

6,76,376 189

3,680 50

6,68,701 137

3,995 2

Assam

6,17,163 124

2,535 77

6,08,517 198

6,111 3

Punjab

6,03,352 32

344 13

5,86,402 18

16,606 1

Jharkhand

3,49,271 15

95 1

3,44,035 13

5,141 1

Uttarakhand

3,44,325 22

182 4

3,36,735 18

7,408

Jammu And Kashmir

3,37,263 177

1,697 10

3,31,089 167

4,477

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,354 85

835 29

2,22,669 113

3,850 1

Goa

1,79,046 56

367 40

1,75,295 16

3,384

Mizoram

1,35,765 315

3,717 55

1,31,545 368

503 2

Puducherry

1,28,998 33

299 10

1,26,826 23

1,873

Manipur

1,25,269 33

663 4

1,22,627 28

1,979 1

Tripura

84,835 15

94 6

83,916 8

825 1

Meghalaya

84,534 24

296 2

82,764 25

1,474 1

Chandigarh

65,475 4

65 1

64,590 5

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,285 6

36 1

54,969 5

280

Sikkim

32,267 15

137 10

31,727 5

403

Nagaland

32,128 3

128 5

31,302 6

698 2

Ladakh

21,642 41

306 21

21,122 20

214

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 1

10,679 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,397 1

18 8

10,328 9

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,686 3

7 2

7,550 1

129

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