The remarkable evolutionary plasticity of Coronaviruses by mutation and recombination: Insights for the COVID-19 pandemic and the future evolutionary paths of SARS-CoV-2
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Oliver, S., Amoutzias, G., Nikolaidis, M., Tryfonopoulou, E., Chlichlia, K., & Markoulatos, P. (2022). The remarkable evolutionary plasticity of Coronaviruses by mutation and recombination: Insights for the COVID-19 pandemic and the future evolutionary paths of SARS-CoV-2. Viruses https://doi.org/10.3390/v14010078
Coronaviruses (CoVs) constitute a large and diverse subfamily of positive-sense singlestranded RNA viruses. They are found in many mammals and birds and have great importance for the health of humans and farm animals. The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, as well as many previous epidemics in humans that were of zoonotic origin, highlights the importance of studying the evolution of the entire CoV subfamily in order to understand how novel strains emerge and which molecular processes affect their adaptation, transmissibility, host/tissue tropism, and patho nonhomologous genicity. In this review, we focus on studies over the last two years that reveal the impact of point mutations, insertions/deletions, and intratypic/intertypic homologous and non-homologous recombination events on the evolution of CoVs. We discuss whether the next generations of CoV vaccines should be directed against other CoV proteins in addition to or instead of spike. Based on the observed patterns of molecular evolution for the entire subfamily, we discuss five scenarios for the future evolutionary path of SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, within this evolutionary context, we discuss the recently emerged Omicron (B.1.1.529) VoC.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/v14010078
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/332250
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/