Reason for high infectivity of new strain of coronavirus has been

Scientists in Sweden and India have named the reason why the new British strain of coronavirus is more infectious. This is reported in an article published in the bioRxiv journal.

Researchers have studied the molecular mechanism of increasing the frequency of infection in a new strain of coronavirus, which has mutations in the S-protein domain that binds to the hACE-2 receptor of the human cell. Potentially, such mutations can lead to an increase in the virulence of the virus, that is, its ability to cause disease. Scientists have compared interactions with the receptor of both wild S-protein and mutant B.1.1.7.

It turned out that the mutant variant of the spike protein has an increased affinity for binding to the hACE-2 receptor. The mutation, designated N501Y, enhanced the interaction between the RBD (receptor binding domain) of the spike protein and the cell receptor.

Previously, researchers suggested that a new strain of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which originated in the south-east of England, will lead to an increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. It quickly replaces other forms of SARS-CoV-2, being more infectious precisely due to its increased ability to bind to cell receptors.

/Media reports.