VCOM researches COVID origin, mutation critical for human infection
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Two researchers from VCOM played a critical role in studying COVID-19. Doctors Lin Kang and Pawel Michalak worked with researchers at Virginia Tech for the past year.
They researched the virus responsible for COVID, SARS-CoV-2, specifically a mutation in the virus that was previously overlooked. They discovered the mutation found in the virus’ spike protein is critical for COVID infection in humans. The mutation allows the SARS-CoV-2 virus to attach to receptors in human cells.
Dr. Michalak said this is only the beginning of their research.
“It’s a mutation that changes amino acid, it replaces threonine that is prevalent in animal coronavirus with alanine which is specific to SARS-CoV-2 in humans,” said Michalak.
They plan to continue research on this mutation that’s critical for understanding the evolution of COVID from animals to humans.
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