Mutation of coronavirus in Bangladesh faster than global rate: BCSIR study

The Daily Star      September 06, 2020
Star Online Report

The mutation rate of novel coronavirus in the country is faster than the global rate, according to a study.

The mutation rate in Bangladesh was recorded at 12.6 percent in the study by Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) while the current global average is 7.23 percent.

A mutation is simply a change in the virus’ genome: the set of genetic instructions that contain all the information that the virus needs to function, according to GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation).

To replicate, viruses use a host cell where they insert their genetic information. This results in millions of copies of the virus.

However, errors can creep in during this process when the virus replicates and this is called mutation.

Analysing the data, researchers observed the presence of variant G614 in 100 percent cases.

Researchers also said they observed 53 non-synonymous replications of amino acid out of 103 nucleotide mutations.

Five of the non-synonymous replications were unique which have no presence across the globe and this is the reason behind severity of the infection in the country, they said.

BCSIR officials said they have sent their study report to 50 research organisations that are working on Covid-19 vaccine including American organisation Moderna, Oxford University and the Chinese company Sinovac.

This will help the organisations develop vaccines fit for Bangladeshi population, they claimed.

Presided over by the chairman of the BCSIR, minister for science and technology Yeafesh Osman attended the event, among others.

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