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Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Mutations on Global Travel and the Increasing Number of Re-Infections: A Risk-Assessment Perspective



Shahid Ud Din Wani1, 2, *, Surya Prakash Gautam3, Mohammad Ali4
1 Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, JSS Academy of Technical Education, Noida, 201301, India
2 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, 190006, India
3 Department of Pharmaceutics, CT Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, CT Group of Institutions, Jalandhar, 144020, India
4 Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Science & Technology, Techno City, Meghalaya, 793101, India


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© 2021 Wani et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, 190006, India; Tel: +91-9353675284, E-mail: shahidpharma2013@gmail.com


Abstract

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has stunned the world owing to the surreal, unprecedented, and completely unbelievable manner in which it has spread globally within a short span of time. This spread has led to the common combination of variety and has promoted the passage of species blockade and genetic combination of these types of viruses. Despite the short history of the COVID-19 outbreak, with its global spread and frequent mutations, it has impacted the whole world and has become a worrying threat to the society. Scientific reports have disclosed that members of the coronavirus family, such as SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), HCoV-NL63, HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, and HKU1 have infected the humans earlier too and that mutations in these viruses have resulted in the more complex severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In the present review, we have discussed how scientists keep track of the genetic tweaks to SARS-CoV-2 as it spreads globally.

Currently, the only way to prevent more such outbreaks is maintaining social distancing, adhering to the World Health Organization guidelines and de-globalizing the world. Genetic variations/mutations reported to date in coronaviruses hint at their cryptic spread.

Scientists are scouring the viral genome for mutations that might reveal how dangerous the pathogen is or how fast it spreads. Cases have been documented in almost all countries, and the mutations in the virus have created problems for the researchers in formulating effective vaccines. Furthermore, global travel has been severely affected after the new mutants have been detected. Therefore, more scientific investigations are necessary to understand how SARS-CoV-2 is likely to mutate in the future.

Keywords: Coronavirus infection, Respiratory virus infections, Genetic variation, COVID-19, Global travel, Mutations.