More strains of coronavirus have been isolated at the national security lab of Hungary’s National Center for Public Health (NNK). Based on the results, it seems that the pathogen may have reached Hungary from several different places – virologist Zoltán Kis, the head of the center’s laboratory said in an interview to public radio on Monday.
He said that it is vital for the effectiveness of the vaccine to know how many sub-strains of the virus exist in Hungary. Any vaccine will need to target features that are found in all strains of the virus in order to be effective.
He added that it is also possible that several types of coronavirus are present even within one infected person.
Experiments verifying the effectiveness of a vaccine have already begun in the lab.
Zoltán Kis emphasized that there is no evidence that any vaccine is effective against the coronavirus, so this type of information should be treated with caution.
Coronavirus: Isolation of Sars-CoV-2 in Hungary Important but Vaccine Probably Still Far Away
Kis and his team were also the first who isolated the virus in Hungary a few weeks ago.
Researchers have long been talking about different strains of the SARS-CoV-2 as viruses are always mutating, especially RNA types like this one.
The new virus, according to U.S. researchers, now has at least eight strains and a thousand mutations worldwide.
Also, thousands of genetic sequences of the virus have been uploaded to the open database NextStrain, which shows how the virus is migrating and splitting into new sub-types.
At this moment, the differences between the identified strains are luckily very minuscule, so the genetic variations won’t change the way the virus functions.
Featured photo illustration by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI