Omicron variant-specific mutations detected

Kamlendra Singh, a professor at MU College of Veterinary Medicine, said: “We know that viruses evolve over time and have mutations, so when we first heard of the new Omicron variant, we I want to identify mutations that are specific to this variant. Investigative director of the MU Center for Molecular Interactions Core and Bonds of Life Sciences.

Singh teamed up with Saathvik Kannan, a freshman at Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri, and Austin Spratt, an undergraduate student at MU, and Sid Byrareddy of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, to analyze the protein sequences. of Omicron samples from around the world, including South Africa, Botswana and the United States. The team identified 46 common mutations specific to Omicron, including some located in the virus’ spike protein region, where antibodies bind to the virus to prevent infection.

“The purpose of the antibodies is to recognize the virus and stop binding, helping to prevent infection,” Singh said. “However, we found many mutations in the Omicron variant that are located right where the antibodies are supposed to bind, so we are showing how the virus continues to evolve in a way that is likely to escape.” or evade existing antibodies, and thus go on to infect so many people.”

As antiviral treatments for individuals infected with COVID-19 continue to be developed, Singh explained that a better understanding of how the virus evolves will help ensure treatments against COVID-19. Future viruses will be targeted at specific parts of the virus to produce the most effective results.

During a recent trip to his native India, Singh met with Manish Sisodia, Delhi’s deputy minister, to discuss the launch of CoroQuil-Zn, a supplement that can be used during COVID- 19 to help reduce a person’s viral load. The dietary supplement, which Singh helped develop, is now being taken by patients in Tamil Nadu, an Indian state. The manufacturer will soon seek FDA approval for distribution in the United States.

“The first step to solving a problem is to better understand the particular problem from the start,” says Singh. “It’s been a pleasure to contribute to research that helps address the pandemic, which has clearly affected people all over the world.”

“Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants: Unique features and their impact on pre-existing antibodies” was published recently in the Journal of Autoimmune. Funding for the study was provided by the Bond Center for Life Sciences, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institute for Strategic Studies at the University of Nebraska. Siddappa Byrareddy of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Hitendra Chand of Florida International University and Kalicharan Sharma of Delhi College of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research were co-authors of the study.

Source: Eurekalert

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