KALTENGPOS.CO – Since the end of 2019, the world has been shocked by the Corona virus which first appeared in the city of Wuhan, China. Viruses that attack the respiratory system belong to the same virus class as the viruses that cause SARS and MERS. Just like other viruses, the Corona virus that causes COVID-19 can also mutate.
Recently, the mutation of the Corona virus has become a hot topic of conversation in the community, both in Indonesia and around the world. The mutated virus is said to be able to spread faster than the previous Corona virus.
Is this true and what is the impact on vaccine manufacturing?
Quoted from Alodokter, since it was first discovered until now, studies have found that the Corona virus has undergone several mutations. However, please note that this is something that is common and it is only natural.
Corona Virus Mutation Facts
Viral mutations are changes in viral genetic material that can affect the structure or workings of the virus. This can happen when the virus is replicating itself in the cells of the human body.
Corona virus or SARS-CoV-2 is a type of RNA virus (ribonucleic
acid), namely viruses with single-chain genetic material. Because of this structure, RNA viruses are known to mutate more easily.
Even so, the mutation frequency of the Corona virus is known to be quite stable, not even faster than the influenza virus, which is known to mutate so often that the vaccine needs to be replaced every year.
Changes that occur due to the mutation of the corona virus
As has been said before, Corona virus mutations have occurred several times. However, the changes that have occurred have not caused a significant impact so do not require special attention.
Well, recently researchers discovered a D614G mutation that causes changes in the spike protein, which is the protein that forms the crown of the Corona virus.
In short, at the beginning of its appearance, the crown of the Corona virus has a protein called D614. Gradually, the structure of this protein changed to G614 due to mutations.
Impact of Corona Virus Mutations on Its Spread
Some studies suggest that this mutation makes SARS-CoV-2 more infectious. However, the truth has yet to be confirmed.
Research does show that people who contract the Corona virus with the D614G mutation have a higher number of viruses in their bodies. Even so, this does not necessarily make the virus easier to spread.
In fact, one study stated that this could be beneficial because it could simplify and increase the accuracy of Corona virus detection through swab tests and PCR tests.
Impact of Corona Virus Mutations on Disease Severity
Even though the mutated Coronavirus is easier to reproduce in the body, there is no evidence that this virus mutation can cause more severe symptoms of COVID-19.
The severity of Corona virus infection is still very much influenced by age and the presence or absence of comorbidities.
Impact of Corona Virus Mutations on Vaccine Development
Research states that the antibody response generated by the body from the currently being developed vaccines is also effective against the Corona virus with the D614G mutation.
One experiment even showed that viruses with this mutation are easier to neutralize. Even so, further research still needs to be done.
So far, the impact of the D614G mutation on the development of the COVID-19 pandemic is not clear. So, we should stay calm and sort wisely the information we get.
In addition, make the facts about the mutation of the Corona virus a reminder not to relax the COVID-19 prevention protocol. Just stick with it physical
distancing, wear a mask, and wash hands before touching the face area.
If you experience symptoms of Corona virus infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, sore throat, or chest pain, do self-isolation immediately and call the COVID-19 hotline at 119 Ext. 9 for further guidance.