While India is currently struggling with the COVID-19 outbreak, CSIR scientists have found a new Coronavirus type called ‘A3i’.
The newly identified virus was detected among 41 percent of those analyzed so far.
They have identified this as the second most prevalent virus in India and may compromise 3.5 percent of genomes, globally.
According to the findings, A2a and of 213 genomes are the two most common COVID-19 clade in the country, with A2a accounting for 62 percent share.
Now, A3i accounts for 41 percent share of the COVID-19 type viruses.
With the discovery, the number of SARS-CoV-2 virus types has increased to 11, globally.
Of these, six of them are already prevalent in India.
What are these COVID-19 type virus groups?
The coronavirus type or a clade is a group of SARS-CoV-2 viruses with evolutionary similarities, categorized by the nature of mutation parts of their genomes.
These classifications help in understanding the scope of the virus spread, its severity, and evolution.
Type O was first identified as the ancestral type with its origin in China, falling under the A2a type. The Type O is more prevalent across the world and gives COVID-19 the ability to infiltrate the lungs.
“Epidemiological assessments suggest that the common ancestor [of this subtype of viruses] emerged in February 2020 and possibly resulted in an outbreak followed by countrywide spread,” say the scientists from CSIR and genome research.
“While we rely on samples from the State authorities, it appears that this originated from a person in Telangana who had traveled from Indonesia, Singapore, or some place in South-East Asia,” says Rakesh Mishra, Director, CSIR-CCMB.
However, there is no proper evidence if the A3i is virulent.