Research: You can gain active immunity in the fight against Coronavirus
The relatively stable genome SARS-CoV-2 is good news for a vaccine that is in the clinical phase of testing.
The small number of genetic differences between the original Wuhan coronavirus and the one currently circulating in the US population suggests that the vaccine could probably offer lasting immunity.
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus genome remains relatively stable during its global spread, indicating that the vaccine could provide long-term protection, according to the Washington Post.
Although all replicative viruses accumulate some mutations that persist as a result of natural selection, the genetics of SARS-CoV-2 suggest that it does not mutate at high speed, the researchers report.
There are approximately four to ten genetic differences between the virus originating in Wuhan and strains currently circulating in the United States, molecular geneticist Peter Tillen of Johns Hopkins University told the Washington Post.
“These are relatively few mutations, given that they have passed through a large number of people,” he said.
“At this point, the rate of mutation in the virus will indicate that the vaccine made for SARS-CoV-2 will be the only vaccine. “Otherwise, it would be necessary to develop a new vaccine every year, as is the case with the flu vaccine.”
Tylen adds that the coronavirus vaccine may have similarities to measles vaccines, as both offer long-lasting immunity.