Newswise — Rochester, Minnesota — Experts from Mayo Clinic said that no matter which variant strain, measures to prevent infection are effective. According to current understanding, vaccines can prevent and reduce hospitalizations and deaths. If you can get the vaccine or meet the requirements for booster shots, please get vaccinated immediately.

But what about these mutant strains? Why do they appear, and how do they appear? The following is the opinion of Miaoyou Medical International experts:

Two years ago, on December 12, a group of people were infected and sickened by a virus that was never thought to infect humans. SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2), the virus that causes COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) has spread globally, and the pandemic caused more than 2.67 infections in the past two years Billion cases, including 49 million cases in the United States . As the virus spreads, the virus genome will mutate or mutate in each host. This genetic variation, so-called mutagenicity, can affect how easily the virus spreads, the severity of COVID-19 after infection, or the level of immunity produced by vaccines or previous infections. As these most worrying changes become more pronounced in different geographic regions of the world, they will be closely tracked. Researchers and clinical medical professionals pay close attention to these variants—such as Delta or Omicron—in order to understand how mutations in these variants affect testing or patient care.  

The virus replicates its genetic code and forms new virus particles to infect as many host cells as possible for reproduction. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, this virus stores its genetic code as RNA. It prioritizes the speed of replication rather than accuracy, and mutations can occur in each round of replication. From the beginning of the infection to the first few days, the number of SARS-CoV-2 particles may double approximately every six hours .

As RNA replication progresses, errors will occur. These errors are called mutations, and if they change the virus in a way that helps the virus spread or infect cells, a new strain of the virus may be produced, called a mutant strain. Mutations in the viral genome, especially the command changes in the spike protein that help SARS-CoV-2 infect cells, may cause viral particles to better evade the immune system, develop resistance to previous drug treatments, or infect more efficiently cell. But other replication errors may damage the replication of the virus, or have no effect at all.    

Ultimately, unless preventive measures are taken, various virus particles will spread to the next host, where the virus will try to replicate again.

"You will be infected by a group of viruses," said Dr. Richard Kennedy, an immunologist and co-director of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group . "Each single virus may be different from other viruses because of mutations. In a random location."

With millions of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, scientists may see most of the mutation options, wrote Andrew Badley, MD, MD, an international infectious disease specialist at Miaoyou Medical, in a recently published article . He is the chairperson of the SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 research task force of Miaoyou Medical International, which is responsible for supervising Miaoyou Medical International's COVID-19-related research activities. In the comments, Dr. Badley pointed out that screening and collecting information about these mutations is essential, and assessing their effects on the efficiency of virus transmission, severity of disease, and whether the new mutant strains are resistant to current COVID-19 treatments and experimental therapies. Influence.

并非所有突变都会让科学家感到担忧 — 请记住,如果不能帮助病毒传播,有些突变在出现后很快就会消失。但有些突变会直接或间接帮助病毒传播。作为免疫反应的一部分,身体会产生各种各样的抗体,所有这些抗体都与一个小病毒蛋白片段结合。如果病毒发生突变,根据这些指令生成的蛋白可能会发生相当的变化,以至于抗体无法与其结合或结合紧密度降低。Badley医生还写道,这可能会减少或抵消主要依赖抗体的疗法(单克隆抗体疗法)的有益效果,并在一定程度上减少或抵消疫苗的效果。

同样重要的是分子诊断检测中所使用的突变位点,妙佑医疗国际微生物学家和诊断检测专家Joseph Yao医学博士写道。这类变化可能会降低这些检测方法的准确性或精准度,从而使得这些感染更难检测。而这将间接导致SARS-CoV-2的传播。




阅读Discovery's Edge上的英文全文。


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