SARS-CoV-2 may have come to India via Europe, Middle East - Study | Daily News


 

SARS-CoV-2 may have come to India via Europe, Middle East - Study

 The probable source of origin of Indian SARS-CoV-2 viruses is countries from Europe and Oceania regions, besides the Middle East and the South Asian regions, says a research article published in Current Science.

The article by Mainak Mondal, Ankita Lawarde and Kumaravel Somasundaram from the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, titled ‘Genomics of Indian SARS-CoV-2: Implications in genetic diversity, possible origin and spread of virus,’ says possible spread of the virus to India through Middle East countries from Europe and Oceania regions cannot be ruled out.

WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11. Comparison of genome sequences from diverse locations allows identification of the genetic diversity among viruses, the researchers say, adding that the aim of the study was to determine the genetic diversity among Indian SARS-CoV-2 isolates.

“Initial examination of the phylogenetic data of SARS-CoV-2 genomes from different continents deposited at GISAID (Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data) revealed multiple origins for Indian isolates. An in-depth analysis of 558 viral genomes derived from samples representing the USA, Europe, China, East Asia, South Asia, Oceania, Middle East regions, and India revealed that most Indian samples are divided into two clusters,” it states.

According to the article, A1 sub-cluster showed more similarity to Oceania and Kuwait samples, while A2 sub-cluster grouped with South Asian samples. In contrast, cluster B grouped with countries from Europe, Middle East and South Asia. Expanding on the viral clade analysis of Indian samples, the study says the potential origin could be countries mainly from Europe, Middle East Oceania and South Asia regions, which strongly imply the spread of virus through most-travelled countries.

“Our result also indicates that there is a close connection between source of virus and the countries that are most travelled by Indians. The study also highlights the power of rapid viral genome sequencing and public data sharing to improve the detection and management of pandemic diseases such as COVID-19. Needless to say that major countries from emerging economies such as Brazil and India should also support experimental research on SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis,” the researchers said.

 


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