KOZHIKODE: While the state prepares for the Covid vaccine, a medical team from Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital, in association with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), New Delhi, will study the proposed vaccine’s effect in controlling the virus’ mutation that was reported in the state.
The joint study will also examine potential consequences, the capability of new variants and the possibility of another Covid wave.
Dr Chandini Radhakrishnan, head of the research team, said, "The second phase of this study will ascertain the actual pandemic scenario prevailing in the state. Instant mutation is common among viruses. Hence, sequencing is important to develop a diagnostic system and a vaccine, besides tracking transmission, identifying reinfection and understanding the host-virus interaction. In the first phase, the study was confined mostly to Kozhikode, where the mutation first occurred. Now, we will replicate the study across the state to find whether a similar mutation has occurred in other parts and if there are other variants. We will be collecting around 100 samples from each district for the purpose.”
Usually, genetic mutation reduces the spreading capability of a virus. However, we can reach a conclusion regarding Covid only after the study, she added.
A study conducted by the team earlier had revealed that the virus spreading in the state was genetically mutated and had greater ability to spread. “In the first phase, we collected 130 samples from Kozhikode alone and sent it to the medical college hospital for genome sequencing. Among the samples subjected to the study, mutation was detected in 'D614G' strain of novel Coronavirus,” she said.