Nurses in the USA have become aware over the past months that there have been many mutations of the virus. However, there appears to be only one that is changing its structure. Naturally, nurses will ask if it is therefore more dangerous, and will it undermine the development of a vaccine?
The mutation is named D614G and is inside the protein’s facility to break into human cells. Worldwide it is now seen in almost 100% of samples. Research now focusses on if the mutation gives it a tangible advantage. Indeed, there is a growing number of research scientists and virologists that believe this is the case. However, it is not yet known if this evolutionary advantage makes it more dangerous, transmissible, or just neutral. To date, US lab tests have identified that the protein spike does enable it to stick together and function more efficiently. Disappointingly this indicates that the virus will spread more easily.
US nurses should, however, be reassured that the mutation does not make the protein any more resistant to antibodies.