/Researchers discover new strain of COVID-19 in Ohio patient – WLWT Cincinnati

Researchers discover new strain of COVID-19 in Ohio patient – WLWT Cincinnati


Scientists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine have discovered a new strain of COVID-19.The new variant has a mutation identical to the U.K. strain, but it likely arose in a virus strain already present in the United States, researchers said in a release. The new strain was discovered in one patient from Ohio. Researchers said they don’t yet know the prevalence of the strain in the state. “This new Columbus strain has the same genetic backbone as earlier cases we’ve studied, but these three mutations represent a significant evolution,” said study leader Dr. Dan Jones, vice chair of the division of molecular pathology. “We know this shift didn’t come from the U.K. or South African branches of the virus.”Like the U.K. strain, the mutations in the newly discovered Columbus strain are likely to make the virus more infectious, making it easier for the virus to pass from person to person. “The big question is whether these mutations will render vaccines and current therapeutic approaches less effective,” said Peter Mohler, a co-author of the study and chief scientific officer at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and vice dean for research at the College of Medicine. “At this point, we have no data to believe that these mutations will have any impact on the effectiveness of vaccines now in use.”Mohler said it’s important not to overreact to new variants until data is presented.”We need to understand the impact of mutations on transmission of the virus, the prevalence of the strain in the population and whether it has a more significant impact on human health. Further, it is critical that we continue to monitor the evolution of the virus so we can understand the impact of the mutant forms on the design of both diagnostics and therapeutics. It is critical that we make decisions based on the best science,” Mohler said.Scientists said that discovery of the Columbus variant, COH.20G/501Y, suggests that the same mutation may be occurring independently in multiple parts of the world during the past few months.”Viruses naturally mutate and evolve over time, but the changes seen in the last two months have been more prominent than in the first months of the pandemic,” Jones said. His team has been conducting Ohio State’s genetic sequencing on environmental and patient SARS-CoV2 samples, and he’ll continue to monitor for changes as vaccination occurs.

Scientists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine have discovered a new strain of COVID-19.

The new variant has a mutation identical to the U.K. strain, but it likely arose in a virus strain already present in the United States, researchers said in a release.

The new strain was discovered in one patient from Ohio. Researchers said they don’t yet know the prevalence of the strain in the state.

“This new Columbus strain has the same genetic backbone as earlier cases we’ve studied, but these three mutations represent a significant evolution,” said study leader Dr. Dan Jones, vice chair of the division of molecular pathology. “We know this shift didn’t come from the U.K. or South African branches of the virus.”

Like the U.K. strain, the mutations in the newly discovered Columbus strain are likely to make the virus more infectious, making it easier for the virus to pass from person to person.

“The big question is whether these mutations will render vaccines and current therapeutic approaches less effective,” said Peter Mohler, a co-author of the study and chief scientific officer at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and vice dean for research at the College of Medicine. “At this point, we have no data to believe that these mutations will have any impact on the effectiveness of vaccines now in use.”

Mohler said it’s important not to overreact to new variants until data is presented.

“We need to understand the impact of mutations on transmission of the virus, the prevalence of the strain in the population and whether it has a more significant impact on human health. Further, it is critical that we continue to monitor the evolution of the virus so we can understand the impact of the mutant forms on the design of both diagnostics and therapeutics. It is critical that we make decisions based on the best science,” Mohler said.

Scientists said that discovery of the Columbus variant, COH.20G/501Y, suggests that the same mutation may be occurring independently in multiple parts of the world during the past few months.

“Viruses naturally mutate and evolve over time, but the changes seen in the last two months have been more prominent than in the first months of the pandemic,” Jones said. His team has been conducting Ohio State’s genetic sequencing on environmental and patient SARS-CoV2 samples, and he’ll continue to monitor for changes as vaccination occurs.

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