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SARS-CoV-2 Viral Variants—Tackling a Moving Target

SARS-CoV-2 Viral Variants—Tackling a Moving Target Opinion EDITORIAL John R. Mascola, MD; Barney S. Graham, MD, PhD; Anthony S. Fauci, MD In this issue of JAMA, Zhang and colleagues report the During the early phase of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, there emergence of a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome were only modest levels of genetic evolution; however, more coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant in Southern California recent information indicates that even a single amino acid sub- stitution can have biological implications. Starting in April that accounted for 44% (37 of 85) of samples collected and studied in January 2021. 2020, the original SARS-CoV-2 strain was replaced in many re- The terminology of viral var- gions of the world by a variant called D614G, which was sub- Related article iation can be confusing be- sequently shown to increase the efficiency of viral replica- cause the media and even scientific communications often tion in humans and was more transmissible in animal 4-6 use the terms variant, strain, and lineage interchangeably. models. The D614G strain appears to position its receptor The terminology reflects the basic replication biology of RNA binding domain to interact more efficiently with the ACE2 re- viruses that results in the introduction of mutations through- ceptor, and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

SARS-CoV-2 Viral Variants—Tackling a Moving Target

JAMA , Volume 325 (14) – Apr 13, 2021

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright 2021 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.2021.2088
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Opinion EDITORIAL John R. Mascola, MD; Barney S. Graham, MD, PhD; Anthony S. Fauci, MD In this issue of JAMA, Zhang and colleagues report the During the early phase of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, there emergence of a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome were only modest levels of genetic evolution; however, more coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant in Southern California recent information indicates that even a single amino acid sub- stitution can have biological implications. Starting in April that accounted for 44% (37 of 85) of samples collected and studied in January 2021. 2020, the original SARS-CoV-2 strain was replaced in many re- The terminology of viral var- gions of the world by a variant called D614G, which was sub- Related article iation can be confusing be- sequently shown to increase the efficiency of viral replica- cause the media and even scientific communications often tion in humans and was more transmissible in animal 4-6 use the terms variant, strain, and lineage interchangeably. models. The D614G strain appears to position its receptor The terminology reflects the basic replication biology of RNA binding domain to interact more efficiently with the ACE2 re- viruses that results in the introduction of mutations through- ceptor, and

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: Apr 13, 2021

References

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