Bhubaneswar: Swab sample of the 34-year-old UK returnee, who had tested positive for Covid-19 has been sent to National Institute of Virology(NIV), Pune by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) for genome sequencing, informed Dr Ajay Parida, Director, Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar.
“To get it confirmed whether the case detected here yesterday is that of the new mutant strain reported in UK, the BMC I think has sent the sample to NIV, Pune for genome sequencing,” said Dr Parida talking to reporters here today.
After genome sequencing it will be known whether he was affected by that strain or any other strain, he added.
Dr Parida explained that mutation of viruses is natural, the faster the replication or division of a virus, mutation can happen anytime.
He said out of 24 strains studied by ILS, there was mutation in one strain which was named D614-G.
“The one that has been detected in the UK is a mutated virus. That virus has undergone 16 mutations. Out of the 16 mutations in that virus, seven mutations are in the spike protein,” the ILS Director informed.
Due to the mutation in the spike protein, as a result of which entry and interaction of the virus with the human body is more and therefore it can be more infectious, he added.
This mutation was known through genome sequencing of the virus in UK, Dr Parida pointed out.
The ILS Director informed that five centres in the country have been selected by the Centre to conduct genome sequencing to ascertain whether there is any presence of the UK mutant strain of the virus in India.
“The laboratories selected by the Centre for genome sequencing of samples National Institute of Virology (Pune), Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (Hyderabad), Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (New Delhi), Institute of Life Science (Bhubaneswar) and InStem-NCBS (Bangalore),” Dr Parida said.