Why in News?
- The novel coronavirus mutation called D614G has become the dominant variant in the global COVID-19 pandemic.
About the mutation
- When the virus enters an individual’s body, it aims at creating copies of itself. When it makes an error in this copying process, we get a mutation.
- In this case, the virus replaced the aspartic acid (D) in the 614th position of the amino acid with glycine (G). Hence the mutation is called the D614G.
- The D614G mutation is situated in the spike protein of the virus.
- This particular mutation aids the virus in attaching more efficiently with the ACE2 receptor in the human host, thereby making it more successful in entering a human body than its predecessors. ACE2 is a protein on the surface of many cell types. It is an enzyme that generates small proteins
- A recent study which collected SARS-CoV-2-positive samples from the various States like Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh among others — reveals that the D614G was one of the most prevalent spike mutations even during the initial phase of the pandemic.
- Another study, after conducting experiments, concluded that this particular mutation may not reduce the ability of vaccines in clinical trials to protect against COVID-19 and that the therapeutic antibodies should be tested against the circulating variant of the virus before clinical development.