Has the new coronavirus mutated? How does it mutate? This is one of the focuses of academic research. In the paper on "The origin and continuing evolution of SARS-CoV-2"published by the National Science Review sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences on March 3, the researchers from China said the molecular evolution analysis of the whole genome of 103 novel coronaviruses — the largest scale so far — revealed that 149 mutation points had occurred in the virus strain. This study revealed that two subtypes, "L" and "S", have evolved in the novel coronavirus. Among them, "S" type is a relatively older version, while "L" subtype is more aggressive and infectious.
Further understanding of sub-types of novel coronavirus will help differentiate the treatment and prevention. More than 14,000 people have tested positive with COVID-19 outside China, including 5,621 in South Korea, 3,089 in Italy and 2,922 in Iran. Faced with the characteristics of novel coronavirus, such as concealment, strong infectivity and easy mutation, how to do a rapid and accurate screening is of great significance to control the spread of the virus in the population.
Many kinds of COVID-19 test kits have been developed by China’s relevant research institutes to detect viruses since its outbreak in Wuhan. How to enhance the accuracy and speed of detection plays an important role in avoiding missed detection and accelerating the treatment of patients.
Test kit developers in Chengdu working in the PCR lab
A novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV nucleic acid detection kit (fluorescent PCR) was developed in Chengdu. Due to its high detection accuracy and short diagnosis time, it has received overseas orders from Iran and other countries on March 2. The accuracy of the test kit is 100%. It can test 96 samples within just two hours.(By Edina Liang)