Mutations and mergers: how Covid is staying ahead of the game

A single mutation in the spike protein makes the most prevalent variant in SA up to eight times more transmissible, say researchers

18 February 2021 - 21:00 By tanya farber

SARS-CoV-2 is causing havoc on every macro level possible, but it’s doing so on a microscopic level, doing what it can to stay alive and infect host cells in human beings.

Researchers have now made two extraordinary discoveries: the one is that a single mutation (found in the local, British and Brazilian variants) renders it eight times more infectious than the so-called “vanilla variant” that first emerged in Wuhan, China, and the other is that different variants are merging to fight the battle “together”...

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