What is COVID-19 D614G Strain and Where it is found?

Recently Malaysia detected a ten times deadlier new COVID-19 strain known as D614G as per the country's Health Ministry. What is a mutation, Why the strain named as D614G, how much is it dangerous? Let us find out!
Aug 18, 2020 17:30 IST
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What is COVID-19 D614G Strain ?
What is COVID-19 D614G Strain ?

Deadly coronavirus itself is not enough that a new strain of coronavirus is detected in Malaysia named D614G and found to be ten times deadlier or infectious than the original Wuhan strain according to the country's Health Ministry.

The Director-General of the country's Health Ministry Noor Hisham Abdullah said the community had to be more careful after a D614G mutation of the novel coronavirus was detected.

A highly infectious mutation of the virus has been detected in Malaysia Sunday (16 August, 2020), when the tally of cases stood at around 9,200. The Institute of Medical Research in Malaysia has detected D614G type mutation as a result of isolation and culture tests. In three cases the mutation has been spotted from a cluster. 

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From where D614G came?

Three cases from the Shivaganga patient under investigation (PUI) Cluster and one case from the Ulu Tiram Cluster in Malaysia are found.

In 45 cases in a cluster, the mutation known as D614G was found in at least three that started from an owner of a restaurant named Nezar Mohamed Sabur Batca returned from India and breaching his 14-day home quarantine. He has been sentenced to five months in prison and fined. In another cluster, the strain was also found involving people returning from the Philippines.

What is D614G strain?

According to the Health Director-General Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, the D614G mutation has been detected in Malaysia and found to be ten times easier to infect other individuals and also easier to spread. So far, these clusters have been found to be under control as a result of swift public health control actions. As per Abdullah, the strain could be mean that the existing studies on vaccines might be incomplete or ineffective against the mutation.

But as per the World Health Organisation there is no evidence the strain leads to more severe disease. In Cell Press a paper is published and said about mutation which is unlikely to have a major impact on the efficacy of vaccines currently being developed.

What is a mutation of virus?

It is said that every virus mutates and it is a part of the virus life cycle. Those shifts and changes are not always a big deal. The new coronavirus is an RNA (Ribonucleic) virus and is a collection of genetic material packed inside a protein shell. Let us tell you that RNA viruses like flu and measles are more prone to changes and mutations compared with DNA viruses like herpes, smallpox, etc.

When viruses infect a person, they attach to the cells and get inside them. They make copies of RNA  which helps them in spreading. If there is a copying mistake, the RNA gets changed. These changes as per the scientists are known as mutation. 

Do you know that these changes happen randomly and by accident? But it is a normal part of what happens to viruses that is they multiply and spread. But if in a virus random change tool place then it makes them easier to infect people and it then spreads. This strain will become a more common super-spreader.

Why is the stain named as D614G?

D-614-G name is because the mutation alters the position of Amino Acid at 614, and from D (aspartic acid) to G (glycine).

It is said that D614G is the deadliest mutation of the coronavirus. It is predominant in various parts of the United States and Europe.

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