The mutation rate of coronavirus is lower than in HIV, notes Marián Hajdúch, director of the Institute of Molecular and Translational Medicine in Olomouc. However, the amount of the population affected by the covid is huge and it increases the probability of the emergence of new variants of the virus, he pointed out in the ČT24 Studio.
The National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) announced this week that the British variant of coronavirus was recorded in three regions in the Czech Republic. The University Hospital Brno informed that they had found it in 84 people since the end of the year.
"I would say it's a significant intervention," comments Marián Hajdúch. According to him, it's crucial to know how the situation is developing right now. "We urgently need information in which regions and at what rate this variant is spreading. We know it's significantly more infectious than the original strain," he said. „Other mutations appear and possibly arise from the mechanism of convergent evolution in different parts of the world at the same time," he added.
Viruses have the ability to mutate, Hajdúch reminded. However, the mutation rate of coronavirus was significantly lower than HIV or other infections.
„Nevertheless, the number of affected people in population is huge. This means the probability of error increases statistically. If it proves successful for the virus, that error gives an evolutionary advantage. The virus may last longer on the surface or bind more tightly to the receptor which enters into the cell. At this very moment, it will start to predominate in the population, "he explained. Sometimes, an error arises and is not viable, according to Hajdúch. „However, we won't find out because the virus will disappear. This is even one of the therapeutic strategies that has been used or considered for the treatment of HIV in the past, "he added.
A newly published study has shown that the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech is likely to be effective against the more contagious British variant of coronavirus.
You can watch the whole interview HERE.
Via: ČT24, ČTK