OREANDA-NEWS. Researchers from Taiwan and Australia reported the discovery of the first significant mutation of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The results of a preliminary study are published on the preprint website bioRxiv.

Specialists studied the genetic structure of 106 samples of the causative agent of COVID-19 from a database that collects genome sequence information from various regions of the world. The data covered 54 records from the United States, 35 from China, 3 from Spain, 2 from Brazil, 1 from Australia, Finland, India, Italy, Nepal, South Korea and Sweden.

The mutation was detected in a sample taken from a patient in India on January 27. It reduced the ability of the pathogen to bind to a receptor on human cells called ACE2, which makes virus less dangerous.