Coronavirus – Disease, Medical Sciences Involved & Preventive Measures

What is the D614G mutation in coronavirus?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : D614G mutation

Mains level : Not Much

While novel coronavirus is undergoing many mutations, one particular mutation called D614G, according to a study, has become the dominant variant in the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Which one of the following statements is not correct?

(a) Hepatitis B virus is transmitted much like HIV.

(b) Hepatitis B, unlike Hepatitis C, does not have a vaccine.

(c) Globally, the number of people infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses is several times more than those infected with HIV.

(d) Some of those infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses do not show the symptoms for many years.

D614G mutation

  • When the virus enters an individual’s body, it aims at creating copies of itself. When it makes an error in this copying process, we get a mutation.
  • In this case, the virus replaced the aspartic acid (D) in the 614th position of the amino acid with glycine (G). Hence the mutation is called the D614G.
  • This mutated form of the virus was first identified in China and then in Europe. Later it spread to other countries like the U.S. and Canada and was eventually reported in India.

Threats posed

  • This particular mutation aids the virus in attaching more efficiently with the ACE2 receptor in the human host, thereby making it more successful in entering a human body than its predecessors.
  • D614G show increased infectivity but it also displayed greater ability at attaching itself to the cell walls inside an individual’s nose and throat, increasing the viral load.

How prevalent is it in India?

  • A study (reveals that the D614G was one of the most prevalent spike mutations even during the initial phase of the pandemic.
  • Since then, D614G mutation’s ‘relative abundance’ has increased over time to 70% and above, in most states except Delhi.
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