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Opinion

Within-Host and Between-Host Evolution in SARS-CoV-2—New Variant’s Source

1
Institute Medical Microbiology, University Zurich, Gloriastr 30, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland
2
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Ihnestr 73, 14195 Berlin, Germany
Academic Editors: Fabrício S. Campos, Luciana Barros de Arruda and Maite F.S. Vaslin
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050751
Received: 6 March 2021 / Revised: 2 April 2021 / Accepted: 20 April 2021 / Published: 25 April 2021
Some of the newly emerging corona viral variants show high numbers of mutations. This is unexpected for a virus with a low mutation rate due to an inherent proof-reading system. Could such a variant arise under very special conditions occurring in a host where the virus replicates and mutates in a rather unlimited fashion, such as in immune compromised patients? The virus was shown to replicate in an immunosuppressed cancer patient for more than 105 days and might be a source of new variants. These patients are asymptomatic and the virus may therefore escape detection and attention and be high-risk. Similarly, HIV-infected individuals may be immunocompromised and support coronavirus replication with increased mutation rates. The patients may promote “within-host evolution”. Some of the viruses present in such a highly mutagenic swarm or quasispecies within one patient may become founders and cause a pandemic by further “between-host evolution”. B.1.1.7 with 23 mutations may be such a case. Immunosuppressed patients can be identified and treated by the synthetic antibody cocktails as passive immunization and kept under control. Immunosuppressed patients can be easily identified and supervised by healthcare workers—once they become aware of the risk—to avoid new variants with pandemic potential. View Full-Text
Keywords: corona; pandemic; immunosuppression; emerging variants; risk; origin; prevention corona; pandemic; immunosuppression; emerging variants; risk; origin; prevention
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MDPI and ACS Style

Moelling, K. Within-Host and Between-Host Evolution in SARS-CoV-2—New Variant’s Source. Viruses 2021, 13, 751. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050751

AMA Style

Moelling K. Within-Host and Between-Host Evolution in SARS-CoV-2—New Variant’s Source. Viruses. 2021; 13(5):751. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050751

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moelling, Karin. 2021. "Within-Host and Between-Host Evolution in SARS-CoV-2—New Variant’s Source" Viruses 13, no. 5: 751. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050751

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