In its genome sequencing research on coronavirus carried out by the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), scientists have revealed that the COVID-19 virus spreading among the Indian population, particularly in southern states of India, has a unique trait compared to those existing in western countries.
According to Rakesh Mishra, director of CCMB, who is also co-author of the paper on the new research findings, said that the team of scientists who have taken up recent work on the genome sequencing of the coronavirus samples taken from the Indian population and comparing the same with samples from other western countries have identified a distinct trait. “During our research we have identified a distinct trait in the coronavirus found in the people infected in India, compared to those infected with the western countries,” said the CCMB director.
It is learnt that the CCMB scientists have at present conducted tests on samples of only Telangana and Tamil Nadu and they are yet to carry out similar tests on a large scale of infected population across India to ascertain a clear picture of the coronavirus traits.
However, the team of scientists at CCMB have done a remarkable work as they have successfully differentiated the different mutant forms of the coronavirus and identified the virus prevailing in the southern states is different from that of those in other places across the world.
The scientists have named this new and unique cluster of virus population as ‘Clad A3i’. It is also revealed that this kind of virus is present in 41 per cent of genome sequenced in India. It is also learned that the researchers sequenced 64 genomes and during their analysis they could identify the district cluster of virus population, with unique characteristics never identified before.
Scientists also observed that this new cluster of corona virus may have originated from an outbreak in February 2020 and this mutant form of the virus may have lead to wide spread among the Indian population. “This variety of virus with unique characteristics is comprising of 41 per cent of Indian population and 3.5 per cent among the global infections, as per the epidemiological assessment the it suggests that the common ancestor emerged in February and possibly resulted in an outbreak in India,” observed Rakesh Mishra.
It is learnt that such a research on genome sequencing to identify the kind of virus trait spreading in India is the first of its kind comprehensive study which characterized the district predominant cluster of SARS-CoV-2 virus in India.
Source : 1