Characterizing SARS-CoV-2 mutations in the United States

Link to article at PubMed

Res Sq. 2020 Aug doi: 10.21203/ Preprint.


The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been mutating since it was first sequenced in early January 2020. The genetic variants have developed into a few distinct clusters with different properties. Since the United States (US) has the highest number of viral infected patients globally, it is essential to understand the US SARS-CoV-2. Using genotyping, sequence-alignment, time-evolution, k-means clustering, protein-folding stability, algebraic topology, and network theory, we reveal that the US SARS-CoV-2 has four substrains and five top US SARS-CoV-2 mutations were first detected in China (2 cases), Singapore (2 cases), and the United Kingdom (1 case). The next three top US SARS-CoV-2 mutations were first detected in the US. These eight top mutations belong to two disconnected groups. The first group consisting of 5 concurrent mutations is prevailing, while the other group with three concurrent mutations gradually fades out. We identify that one of the top mutations, 27964C>T-(S24L) on ORF8, has an unusually strong gender dependence. Based on the analysis of all mutations on the spike protein, we further uncover that three of four US SASR-CoV-2 substrains become more infectious. Our study calls for effective viral control and containing strategies in the US.

PMID:32818213 | PMC:PMC7430589 | DOI:10.21203/

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