What is the D614G?
Also known as the “G” mutation, D614G is a variation of the original strain of the coronavirus that was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December.
Since then, the virus has mutated several times. A study last month conducted by Italy’s Bologna University found that at least six strains of the original coronavirus caused the pandemic.
The first mutation (the S strain) appeared earlier this year. Meanwhile, the G strain appeared from mid-January and thereafter. In general, this G strain is found in the United States and Europe, but is now increasing in Asia since last March.
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Professor Gavin Smith of Singapore’s Duke-NUS ‘Emerging Infectious Diseases Program said that all these viruses replicate themselves during the infection process. “Viruses, such as the corona virus that causes influenza, produce errors during the replication process. This error appears as a mutation, “said Smith.
In the case of the D614G strain, the mutation occurs when the amino acid at position 614 changes from D (aspartic acid) to G (glycine). As a result, the initial D614 variant that occurred in Wuhan changed to D614G.
Is this new breed deadly?
Based on a study conducted by Dr Bette Korber, a theoretical biologist from Los Alamos National Laboratory in the United States, in July found that this new strain was no more deadly than the others. It also found that hospitalization rates were more dependent on factors such as age and gender.
Professor Smith also emphasized that there is no conclusive evidence that the D614G strain is more lethal. He added that the strain became dominant because this new strain entered countries where the spread of the virus was previously not well controlled.