COVID-19: Genome research identifies more dangerous variants – study

Science and Health

New COVID-19 mutations have been identified, which could lead to the spread of more dangerous variants, according to a new study in the academic journal Genetic Epidemiology

The study includes an analysis of 7,548 genomes of COVID-19 patients around the world. A total of 29,891 locations in the viral genome were assessed for correlations between variants and mortality. 
The analysis identified a locus in viral COVID-19 genomes from Brazil that were associated with higher mortality. 
Co-lead author of the study, Georg Hahn of Harvard University, identified this locus as part of the P.1 strain from Brazil. 
The P.1 strain has been identified as more transmissible than the previous COVID-19 strain and is responsible for a surge of COVID-19 deaths in Manaus, Brazil. 
The methodology used in this study will likely be applicable in disease research beyond COVID-19. 
“We expect that this approach would work in similar scenarios involving other diseases, provided the quality of the data collected in public databases is sufficiently high,” said Hahn.