COVID-19 Mutations - Vitrosens Biotechnology

COVID-19 Mutations

14 September 2021

COVID-19 Mutations

The COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the coronavirus, like all other known viruses, has just one objective: to copy itself. When a virus enters your cells, they create new copies of the virus by obeying the instructions in their ribonucleic acid (RNA). The genome of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that produces COVID-19, is carried in the form of a single ribonucleic acid (RNA) strand with about 30000 letters of genetic code. The method by which viruses replicate their genetic material is open to mistakes, which leads to genetic code mutations. When the replication process happens some copying errors often occur, and the host cell fails to fix such errors.


Modifications vs Mutations


Most modifications affect the characteristics of the virus slightly or zero. However, most mutations are destructive and in the viral population are unlikely. Any mutation which benefits the virus can, however, enable the new variant to survive against other forms of the virus. In order to prioritize global surveying and research and eventually inform the permanent action to the COVID-19 outbreak, the rise of the variants which presented a high risk globally by 2020 has led to the classification as Variants of Interest (VOIs) and Concern (VOCs). The collaboration between worldwide expert networks has led to the development of a system that enhances the detection of “signals” for possible Variants of Interest (VOIs), and Variants of Concern (VOCs) based on risks to the global public health. National authorities may identify the other versions of local variants of interest and concern.


It is possible to reclassify a formerly appointed Variant of Interest (VOI) or Variant of Concern (VOC) that has been successfully proved to offer no significant additional danger to global public health when compared to other existing SARS-CoV-2 variants. All viruses are changing, but not all viruses are developing at the same rate and in the same manner. Some of them change quickly, like the flu. Some virus is mutating slowly. Happily, for us, SARS-CoV-2 is in the second part. Yet, in several countries across the world, researchers have identified new variants of the virus. In this article, we will investigate the SARS-CoV-2 mutations.

Do all mutations matter?

Mutations occur randomly and will remain most either quiet (do not have a visible effect) or detrimental (for example by making the virus inviolable), so the virus population does not persist. However, mutations in that protein-coding can cause alteration of those proteins in sections of the genome. The reason is that proteins are constructed by constructing lengthy chains of amino acids with the amino acid sequence in the chain as dictated by the letter sequencing in the genome.


If you change only one letter of the genetic code, you may insert a new amino acid in the chain, and this can significantly influence the functioning of your protein. In most situations, these modifications are damaging to the virus, but very little can give the virus an edge and enable it to compete with other alternatives. The sections below sum up some broad trends in the genetic diversity of the genome of SARS-CoV-2 and analyze some of the most important novel variations.

A new variant in the UK

Alpha (B.1.1.7), discovered in the United Kingdom but extended to over 50 nations. The Alpha (B.1.1.7) mutation, which initially arose from the United Kingdom, is at the top of the scientific list. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautioned that this variation, extending over 60 last week, might deteriorate the spread of the pandemic. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prior research from the United Kingdom University of London College has shown that Alpha (B.1.1.7) is 50% to 70% more infectious.

Another variant in South Africa

Beta (B.1.351), initially discovered in South Africa but found in at least 20 nations, including the United Kingdom. The protein structure of the Beta (B.1.351) or 501Y.V2 variation, initially seen in South Africa, was much more physically modified than the United Kingdom ones. A large portion of the spiced protein that was utilized by a coronavirus to attach to cells was altered by a major mutation termed E 484K. The researchers think thus that vaccination efficacy can be partially reduced by Beta (B.1.351). Armstrong stated, commenting on the issue, “The mutation in South Africa is more important than other variations. The immunological reaction generated by the mutant virus cannot be survived by vaccine producers or academics evaluating the samples in this variation together with others.”.

P1 variants mutating in Brazil

Gamma (P.1), initially found in Brazil but has spread to over 10 countries, including Great Britain. In October, Brazil has already been infected with SARS-CoV-2, a virus that produces COVID-19, in about three out of four Manaus inhabitants. Yet the virus rumbled back in the early 2020s and early 2021 to produce a second rush of disease and death, despite expectations of reaching the 2.2 million “herd immunity” in this Amazon area city. Particularly if an infectious virus such as SARS-CoV-2 replicates and propagates over a largely uncontrolled population. In a recent study, the recurrence of SARS-CoV-2 in the city has been linked to the development and fast propagation of a novel “variant of concern” called P.1. This variety has a unique constellation of mutations that not only allow the human immune system to slip past and re-infect humans but are also twice as transmissible as before.

Predicting the Future

Even though it is almost impossible to foresee how infectivity rates evolve, viral, and immune evasion will evolve in the following months, some of the elements that will shape the path of the virus are evident. There are fundamental limits to how quickly a virus can propagate, and SARS-CoV-2 will eventually reach those limits. For instance, measles, which is around three times more transmissible than existing variants, is the known limit in the viral world. It’s a good idea to think of them as the first steps on a path that could put our public health programs to fight against COVID-19.

WHO label  Pango
GISAID clade Earliest documented
Date of designation 
Alpha B.1.1.7 # GRY The United Kingdom,
Beta B.1.351 GH/501Y.V2 South Africa,
Gamma P.1 GR/501Y.V3 Brazil,



Vitrosens Biotechnology is a high-tech company in Turkey founded for the development, manufacture, and delivery of in vitro diagnostic devices (IVD) to the world.
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Vitrosens Biotechnology is a high-tech company in Turkey founded for the development, manufacture, and delivery of in vitro diagnostic devices (IVD) to the world.
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For our updated news and products follow us on social media.

Copyright by Vitrosens Biotechnology. All rights reserved.

Copyright by Vitrosens Biotechnology. All rights reserved.