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342 sequences show evidence of Covid-19 mutation in minks; none from India

While the new mutations have been reported from countries that don't have a mink population - Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, Russia, the US and the Faroe Islands -- no evidence has been found in India as yet

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | November 20, 2020 | Updated 09:54 IST
342 sequences show evidence of Covid-19 mutation in minks; none from India
Out of 1, 99,321 sequences tested, 389 sequences have this mutation- 342 from people, 42 from American mink (Neovison vison) and the remaining 5 from European mink (Mustela lutreola)

Mutation of SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been reported in minks and seems to transmit from mink to humans in Denmark.

While the new mutations have been reported from countries that don't have a mink population - Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, Russia, the US and the Faroe Islands -- no evidence has been found in India as yet.

Indian-origin Professor SS Vasan, head of COVID-19 project at the Australian science agency CSIRO's high containment facility, Australian Centre for Disease Preparedeness, said, "We're keeping a close watch on these mutations, especially the one called 'Y453F' in the Spike protein of the virus. My colleague Dr Laurence Wilson and I have analysed the 1, 99,321 genome sequences of SARS-CoV2 available on the global repository (GISAID) as of November 13. There are no sequences with this mutation reported yet from India or Australia."

Out of 1, 99,321 sequences tested, 389 sequences have this mutation- 342 from people, 42 from American mink (Neovison vison) and the remaining 5 from European mink (Mustela lutreola). Mink gets infected by catching the virus from humans. However, in Denmark and the Netherlands, the virus might have transmitted the other way-from minks to humans.

Meanwhile, Denmark will cull as many as 1.7 crore minks after a SARS-CoV2 mutation was found on the animal's farms. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen stated the mutated virus was a "risk to the effectiveness" of future coronavirus vaccine.

Also read: Denmark to cull 1.7 crore minks after discovering mutated coronavirus

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