Identifying and Tracking the Evolution of Mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 Virus

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Virginia Tech


SARS-CoV-2 is caused by a pathogenic and highly transmissible beta coronavirus leading to severe infections in immuno-compromised individuals. This study first evaluates the primers used in the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) to detect SARS-CoV-2 by understanding how mutations might affect the primer efficiency with the SARS-CoV-2 sequences. Mutations on the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 are the most important as the spike protein mediates the viral entry into host cells. This study tracks the course of mutations on the spike protein by focusing on the haplogroups of the sequences across the world. A comprehensive database linking three important, currently available databases is curated as part of this study to fill the gaps caused by sequencing errors. Further, this study exploits the data generated by the Illumina and Oxford Nanopore next generation sequencing methods to study the evolution of mutations in a single Septuagenarian patient over an infection period of 102 days using the gene analysis software Geneious Prime.



Pandemic, Pathogenic, Diagnosis, Mutation, Evolution, Sequencing, Database, Frequency