Virus strains

Scientists from academic, independent and government labs around the world have been able to compile data regarding the genomic sequencing data of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Seen as the backbone of the virus, the genome of SARS-CoV-2 is made of approximately 30 000 base pairs. Virus strain is defined as a specific base pair sequence. A potential vaccine development in the near future requires fully understanding that sequence. Note that the mutagenic potential of a virus is a limiting factor in the development of a vaccine. For now, the virus does not seem to evolve rapidly.

“The virus mutates so slowly that the virus strains are fundamentally very similar to each other.”

– Charles Chiu, a professor of medicine and infectious disease at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

Elizabeth Weine, 8 strains of the coronavirus are circling the globe. Here’s what clues they’re giving scientists, USA today, March 27, 2020

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