Science behind Mutations in Coronavirus and Mink
Upcoming Coronavirus Vaccines under Development Might Not Be Able To Hinder the Transmission of COVID-19
Genetic mutations in coronavirus have been observed to have triggered culls of thousands of mink populations across the country of Denmark. Certain areas of the country have been put under lockdown after the governmental authorities found genetic mutations in coronavirus spread in the local region, which could possibly hinder the positive effects of any future vaccine for the COVID-19 outbreak infection.
Genetically altered COVID-19 strain in Denmark
It has been reported by the local authorities that at least 200 individuals have been infected with the genetic strains of mutations in coronavirus that have been found to be related to minks. According to the World Health Organization, it is early to jump towards any strong judgment without any conclusive evidence regarding the newly found mutations in coronavirus infection.
The chief scientists Soumya Swaminathan stated that the procedure requires time regarding the implication, but before that, no conclusive result could be provided, whether the future coronavirus antidote would be directly affected by the mutated genetic strain.
Like all other viruses, the coronavirus has the ability to mutate and change over the course of time. Meanwhile, there is no strong evidence that implicates that the mutations in coronavirus infection observed in Denmark poses an increased level of danger to the local population.
The researchers and scientists in Denmark are particularly concerned regarding specific mink-related mutations in coronavirus strain, which has been found in at least 12 infected patients and is said to be less sensitive towards the protective antibodies present inside the human body against the coronavirus, which has caused certain concerns regarding the upcoming development of COVID-19 antidote.
Since the mutations in coronavirus have been reported in Danish people, the United Kingdom has now imposed a temporary ban on all individuals arriving from Denmark to the United Kingdom to help prevent and limit further transmission of mutations in coronavirus across Europe.
According to an epidemiologist from the French research institute of Cirad, Dr. Marisa Peyre stated that the development of genetic changes and mutations in coronavirus is concerning, but nothing could be confirmed before getting the full picture and extent of the transmutation. Every single time when a virus transmits from one animal to another, it undergoes certain genetic changes, and if that specific strain undergoes certain major changes as compared to the ones that are currently found in the majority of COVID-19 infected patients, then the vaccine which is being currently developed might not be able to work as much effective as it should.
The coronavirus pandemic started with some unusual series of unfortunate events, as the virus was initially found in an animal, possibly a bat. Later the virus jumped into the human population, possibly due to an unintentional animal host, and was later turned into a full-scale pandemic that affected almost every population presents across the planet.
A large number of mink population kept in mink farms has been diagnosed with the coronavirus infection, probably from an infected farm worker. And while being in just a small number of minks, the virus strain underwent specific genetic alterations, causing mutation in coronavirus, which later spread back into humans.
The recently observed mink-relation genetic transmutation in COVID-19 has been reported to have a rapid increase in the protein content of the viral strain, which is only targeted by only some of the antidotes that are under development.
Dr. Peyre, regarding the mutations in coronavirus, stated that if the genetic alteration is on a specified protein that is currently under development targets that protein to help in triggering of the immunologic response of the host human, then it would mean that if any new viral strain later comes out of the mink population and starts spreading in humans, then even with being vaccinated, the affected human would have the tendency to further spread the infection as the antidote would not work.