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Coronavirus Vaccination May be an Evolution of Fitter Variants

The first known evidence that the deployment of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination is constraining the evolutionary and immunological escape paths open to severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus two has been presented by researchers from the United States and India (SARS-CoV-2). Venky Soundararajan of nference Labs in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and colleagues discovered that as rates of mass COVID-19 immunization rise, the variety of SARS-CoV-2 lineages decreases at the country level.

Vaccinated individuals who had breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection had viruses with much lesser variety in the B cell epitopes that are exploited following vaccination than unprotected COVID-19 patients. While the publication is peer-reviewed, a pre-print version of the research paper is available on the medRxiv* server. Following SARS-CoV-2 infection, the host immune response is a critical selective pressure that influences novel virus strains.

Soundararajan and colleagues said, “Understanding the longitudinal trends of SARS-CoV-2 evolution and mapping the mutational landscape of the antigen is imperative to comprehensively combat the ongoing pandemic and future outbreaks.” As a result, Coronavirus vaccines were developed quickly, and immunization was widely distributed throughout many nations, resulting in more than 800 million people being fully inoculated worldwide.

The researchers caution that such rapid immunization of a massive part of the population during the pandemic’s peak could put enormous evolutionary pressure on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in late December 2019, global data-sharing initiatives have resulted in more than 1.8 million SARS-CoV-2 genomes being deposited in the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) database by May 2021, representing 183 nations and territories.

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