India: ‘Double mutant’ coronavirus strain named B.1.617
The ‘double mutant’ virus that scientists had flagged last month as having a bearing on the spread of the pandemic in India, has a formal scientific classification: B.1.617. The variant is common in India and has a couple of defining mutations, E484Q and L425R, that enable them to become more infectious as well as evade antibodies. Though these mutations have individually been found in several other coronavirus variants, the presence of both these mutations together have been first found in some coronavirus genomes from India.
“This is a homegrown variant and widely exported internationally,” said a scientist involved in the sequencing studies but who declined to be identified.
Image by ParagKini from Pixabay
** This post was originally published on April 12, 2021 **