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Estimated Spike Evolution and Impact of Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants
Yong Lu; Kun Han; Gang Xue; Ningbo Zheng; Guangxu Jin.
  • Yong Lu; Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • Kun Han; Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • Gang Xue; Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • Ningbo Zheng; Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • Guangxu Jin; Wake Forest School of Medicine
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21256705
ABSTRACT
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, has been mutating and thus variants emerged. This suggests that SARS-CoV-2 could mutate at an unsteady pace. Supportive evidence comes from the accelerated evolution which was revealed by tracking mutation rates of the genomic location of Spike protein. This process is sponsored by a small portion of the virus population but not the largest viral clades. Moreover, it generally took one to six months for current variants that caused peaks of COVID-19 cases and deaths to survive selection pressure. Based on this statistic result and the above speedy Spike evolution, another upcoming peak would come around July 2021 and disastrously attack Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. This is the prediction generated by a mathematical model on evolutionary spread. The reliability of this model and future trends out of it comes from the comprehensive consideration of factors mainly including mutation rate, selection course, and spreading speed. Notably, if the prophecy is true, then the new wave will be the first determined by accelerated Spike evolution.
Full text: Available Collection: Preprints Database: medRxiv Type of study: Prognostic study Topics: Variants Language: English Year: 2021 Document Type: Preprint

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Full text: Available Collection: Preprints Database: medRxiv Type of study: Prognostic study Topics: Variants Language: English Year: 2021 Document Type: Preprint