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Scientists identify second most common coronavirus type in India. The A3i type comprised 41% of those analysed.
- Scientists at multiple CSIR laboratories have identified a type of coronavirus that may be the second most prevalent in India, and may comprise 3.5% of the genomes globally.
- The most dominant coronavirus clade in India is the A2a, and of 213 genomes analysed by the group, 62% of them were A2a.
- The newly identified type, that the scientists have christened A3i, comprised 41% of those analysed. With this, there are 11 SARS-CoV-2 types identified globally, with at least six of them identified in India.
- The coronavirus type, or clade, is a cluster of SARS-CoV-2 viruses that share evolutionary similarities.
- Such classifications are useful in establishing whether certain strains are particularly virulent, spread more easily, how they are likely to evolve over time and whether some could be less vulnerable to certain kinds of vaccines.
- Previous studies indicate that while type O was the first ancestral family of the virus identified from China, it’s the A2a type that has emerged dominant the world over because of a mutation in its genes that allows that coronavirus’ spike to more efficiently infiltrate the lungs.