Specialists at the University of Cambridge Health have compiled a coronavirus tracking map. Scientists inflicted the entire pandemic route from the very first recorded case in Wuhan. For mapping, genetic network analysis data was used. Scientists from Cambridge collaborated with colleagues from the UK and Germany. Together, they managed to create a coronavirus trajectory along the earliest evolutionary paths of this dangerous disease.
The reference point of the path on this map was the Chinese city of Wuhan. It was here in December last year that the first case of a strange respiratory infection was recorded. The further route extended to Europe and North America. Scientists, compiling this map, analyzed the first 160 viral genomes identified in patients.
Based on these data, the paths of the distribution of the coronavirus through its mutations appeared on the map. All COVID-19 mutations created different viral lines. Peter Forster, a specialist from Cambridge University, said that during the spread of the virus, there were many quick mutations.
To determine them, the researchers used a mathematical algorithm to visualize all variants of virus mutations. Previously, this technique was used exclusively for mapping prehistoric human populations based on their DNA. Now, this is the first time that this method is used for other purposes, or rather, to track the pathways of virus mutation.
Scientists have collected data from around the world from December 24, 2019, to March 4, 2020. In this study, three variants of COVID-19 were identified, all of which have closely related lines. In Wuhan, type A prevailed, which is close to the genomic structure of the virus detected in the bat.
The Type A version mutated and became ill with the Americans living in China. Type B was detected in patients from East Asia, but this type did not advance further and did not receive mutational development. Option C was the most "European".
He was found in patients in Italy, France, Sweden and England. Researchers say their genetic network methods accurately track established pathways of infection: mutations and viral lines connect the dots between known cases.