Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), who conducted a study of samples from patients in Bengaluru, have suggested that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is now mutating faster than before. A team led by prof Utpal Tatu of the department of biochemistry found that the three Bengaluru isolates had more than 11 mutations per sample in their genomes – much higher than the national average (8.4) and global average (7.3).
Their recent study, published in the Journal of Proteome Research, has identified multiple mutations and unique proteins in isolates of SARS-CoV-2 and also shown that the hosts (humans) produce several proteins of their own as their bodies launch an
defense in response to the viral attack.
“To better understand how the virus is mutating and its protein biology , the team carried out a comprehensive ‘proteo-genomic’ investigation – a series of analyses of SARS-CoV-2 isolates,” IISc said in a statement. Proteo-genomics utilises a combination of proteomics (large-scale study of proteins), genomics and transcriptomics (study of RNA) to aid in the discovery and identification of peptides (string of amino acids).
The phylogenetic analysis found that the Bengaluru isolates are most closely related to the one from Bangladesh. It also showed that the isolates in India have multiple origins rather than having evolved from a single ancestral variant.