New Strain of COVID-19 – D614G
BBC radio’s "Science In Action" interviewed Prof Ralph Baric from Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology at UNC-Chapel Hill on 8/10/20
He says that the D614G refers to the genetic mutation of SARS-COV-2 (#COVID19). He has worked in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin. There they used hamsters and compared the airborne infection rate of the mutated COVID virus against the original strain and found it to be 10 times more infectious
Baric says SARS-COV 2 viruses replicate most efficiently in the nasal cells of the host. He has found that the new variant outgrows the original strain by "about a log", that is 10 times faster. It seems that the pathology has no difference between the strains other than the new strain creates slight additional weight loss and makes the host just a little bit sicker
The D614G mutation affects the well-known spike protein that projects from the virus
There is a saving grace. This strain is 3-5 times more sensitive to the neutralising action of antibodies than the ancestral strain, says Baric
I pose 2 questions
Will this genomic mutation affect the vaccines that are on trial?
Is the sudden spread of COVID-19 in Europe the mutated virus?