Researchers from Cambridge, UK and Germany have analysed the first 160 complete virus genomes to be sequenced from patients, mapped some of the original spread of the new coronavirus through its mutations, which creates different viral lineages (By geneticist Dr Peter Forster, lead author from the University of Cambridge). They collected data from virus genomes sampled from across the world between 24 December 2019 and 4 March 2020.
The research revealed three distinct “variants” of COVID-19, consisting of clusters of closely related lineages, which they label ‘A (present in Wuhan & found in bats)’, ‘B (prevalent in patients from across East Asia)’
and ‘C (found in early patients from France)’. They also suggests that first introductions of the virus into Italy came via the documented German infection on January 27, and that another early Italian infection route was related to a “Singapore cluster”.
As such, the scientists argue that these “phylogenetic” methods could be applied to predict future global hot spots of disease transmission and surge.
Source: University Of Cambridge