Hypothesis: Evolution Of SARS-CoV-2 Is Also Triggered By Dominating Human Genes In A Particular Ethnicity And Geolocation, Hence Border Controls Are Critical!
News is presenting another hypothesis that warrants urgent research as it can explain as to why certain variants are affecting certain countries and populations worse that where it originally came from and also justifies the need for border lockdowns and urgent stoppage of international travel.
There are many factors that affects the evolution and mutational aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. A virus typically evolves not to destroy the human host fast as this would backfire on the survival of the virus itself, but rather it evolves to evade the immune effects of the host and to find ways to survive longer in the human host.
Many studies have shown than the genes of the human host also plays a critical role in the evolutionary and pathogenic aspects of the virus and it is now also suspected that that host genes that are unique in a particular ethnic group or race and also the geolocation, might contribute to specific variants arising that become predominant in circulation.
While this new variants might only exhibit mild symptoms in the geolocation that it arose, if it was to be introduced in a new geolocation where the genetic makeup of the population is different from the original geolocation it arose, these variants can react more worst and even affect people in the new geolocation with disease severity and increased mortality.
Giving one example, when the Omicron BA.1 and BA.1.1 variants first became predominant in South Africa, it only presented itself among the local population there with asymptomatic or mild symptomatic clinical presentations. However, when it came to various European countries and also in the United States, it affected the locals in these geolocations far more severely.
Also, if one was to look at all the arising variants, many of the main variants will exhibit mutational differences, even slightly in itself or arising subvariants that are unique in specific geolocations.
Urgent studies are needed to validate our hypothesis, which if is true, warrants urgent border closures and ceasing of all international travel as the transfer of variants for one geolocation to another will not only endanger specific ethnic groups and geolocations but can also help give arise to more lethal recombined variants.
News also hypothesize that should the BA.2.12.1 variant be introduced in Asian countries from American where it originally evolved, the impact on Asians will be far worse. Vice versa, should the BA.4 variants and its many subvariants which originated from the African continent were to be introduced and become dominant in Europe and the United States, we can expect to see yet another catastrophic surge in those countries. It is also interesting to see that that there are many new unique variants and subvariants arising in Asia and South America in countries like China, India, South Korea, Brunei, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia etc. Off course, Africa is the main breeding grounds for many concerning variants!
To further illustrate our hypothesis, the Omicron BA.1 variant with a unique S/493Q mutation arose in Brunei in January 2022. The impact in deaths per million (one month later) was 20 times more than normal. It
is now emerging in Philippines though only a few cases but all those affected in the Philippines have died faster due to disease severity!
The BA.2.3 and BA.2.3.4 variant arose in Philippines and most people there were asymptomatic but in Alberta, Canada where the variant was introduced, most people suffered severe gastrointestinal issues and developed disease severity requiring hospitalization with increased mortality rates.
Many new such variants are arising due to prevailing host genetic factors in a particular location. In India at the moment, a new BA.2 variant is arising with the unique spike mutation: K417T, seen no where else.
Thailand Medical News hopes that more researchers would pay attention to this hypothesis and conduct urgent research to validate it.
The findings would also have an impact on therapeutics to treat COVID-19 and even long COVID as we at Thailand Medical
News have always been saying since the start of the pandemic, the correct approach is a personalized medicine approach as there is no one product or protocol that can treat the global population as there are too much varying factors at play!
With the state of the current pandemic and its kinetics, and also the fact that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is evolving fast and mutating rapidly in various geolocations, coupled with various stupid governments easing border controls and travel, an urgent study on this hypothesis is warranted.
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