A more infectious but less lethal mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus predominates in Asia and also in other parts of the world, detected earlier this year, but little spread, contrary to what appears to be happening now.  While studies suggest that the strain, known as D614G, is more infectious than the variant presumably native to Wuhan, experts argue that it is not more lethal, and that vaccines will be effective against this mutation.
The mutation was discovered by scientists in February, circulating since then in Europe and the Americas, according to the World Health Organization.
Last week, the Genome Center of the Philippines reported that the mutation, along with the original D614 genotype, was detected in June in a small sample of positive cases from Quezon City, near Manila, although it is possible that the samples analyzed “do not represent the mutational landscape of the entire country.”
The Director General of Health d e Malaysia, Noor Hisham Abdullah, urged the population to “be careful and take more precautions” after the authorities detected D614G in two groups of patients.
In turn, Sebastián Maurer-Stroh, from the Agency of Science, Technology and Research of Singapore, reported that the variant has also been found in this city-state, but that containment measures have prevented its spread on a large scale.
The D614G mutation causes a small change in the glycoprotein , the so-called 'spike' that protrudes from the surface of the virus, which uses it to enter and infect human cells. An international team of researchers revealed in a study published in July in the journal Cell that this variation in the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome improved its ability to infect human cells and that it is more infectious in cell cultures under laboratory conditions.  For his part, Noor Hisham Abdullah assured that the D614G strain detected in Malaysia is 10 times more infectious than the original, and that the vaccines that are currently being developed may not be effective against this mutation.
Scripps scientists Ressearch, in Florida, United States, concluded that the strain is 10 times more infectious than the original.
However, the same study published in Cell indicates that the mutation does not appear to be more deadly than the original strain or increase in severity.
According to Paul Tambyah, senior consultant at the National University of Singapore and president-elect of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, the evid This suggests that the proliferation of the D614G mutation in some parts of the world has coincided with a fall in death rates, which seems to indicate that this strain is less lethal.
The expert explains that most viruses tend to become less virulent as they mutate, because "the virus is interested in infecting more people, but not killing them" because it depends on the host "for food and shelter."
Likewise, both Tambyah and Maurer-Stroh point out that this type of mutations will probably not change the virus enough to make potential vaccines less effective.