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Genetic variation of SARS-CoV-2 circulating worldwide and its association for altering disease fatality



The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in > 36,361,054 infections and > 1,056,186 deaths worldwide. Using publicly available genome sequences of patient samples from different geographical regions, a study has been conducted to co-relate mutational frequency with disease transmission and fatality rate. Seven hundred genome sequences were randomly chosen from different countries. The regions of the genome encoding structural proteins Spike (S), Nucleocapsid (N), envelop (E) and Membrane (M) proteins and ORF8 were studied here. Through Insilco approach, this study showed that several evolutionary conserved amino acid residues underwent mutations. Some of these mutations are common in multiple geographies. Quite a few region-specific mutations are also identified. This study highlights that mutational rate is proportional to disease transmission and inversely proportional to disease fatality. The changes in the conserved residues have significant implication on the stability of the proteins and subsequent interaction, which are essential for virus propagation. This provides a better understanding of the genetic variation in SARS-CoV-2 across the countries and its association with reducing disease fatality.


SARS-CoV-2, Disease Fatality, Mutation


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