The research to develop the Covid-19 vaccine is on a rapid face, but none of them so far turned out to be constructive. It can very well be attributed to the rapid mutative capacity of the virus. In the latest, the researchers from the US and UK have identified hundreds of mutations in the Covid-19 virus. But how the mutations do play a role in the spread of infection is not established. Researchers from the US noted that one particular mutation D614G is the dominant mutation that is responsible for the rapid spread of the deadly virus. The Coronavirus mutation increases the number of spikes on the Coronavirus, giving it a distinctive shape and allows the virus to bind and infect cells.
Coronavirus Mutations: Covid-19 Vaccine Development
Most of the vaccine candidates in development is centered around virus protein spikes that are present on the surface of the virus. On this aspect, the researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, have been tracking the changes in the spike structure of the virus. They have been doing this using the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID).
In another coronavirus mutation study, the scientists at the University College London (UCL) found a total of 198 recurring mutations in the current Coronavirus. Although the virus is mutating at a rapid pace, interestingly, it does not lead to the emergence of different strains of the virus. They found that indeed one particular dominant virus is currently circulating. In fact, it is the nature of the virus to mutate at a rapid pace to survive itself against the immune system of the individuals. Monitoring such small changes in the structure of the virus is important because it becomes the important targets for the development of a novel vaccine for Coronavirus.
For instance, the flu virus mutates at such a rate that the vaccine targeting against the flu virus has to be adjusted every year to deal with it.