SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Interest and Concern naming scheme conducive for global discourse

Frank Konings, Mark D. Perkins, Jens H. Kuhn, Mark J. Pallen, Erik J. Alm, Brett N. Archer, Amal Barakat, Trevor Bedford, Jinal N. Bhiman, Leon Caly, Lisa L. Carter, Anne Cullinane, Tulio De Oliveira, Julian Druce, Ihab El Masry, Roger Evans, George F. Gao, Alexander E. Gorbalenya, Esther Hamblion, Belinda L. HerringEmma Hodcroft, Edward C. Holmes, Manish Kakkar, Shagun Khare, Marion P. G. Koopmans, Bette Korber, Juliana Leite, Duncan MacCannell, Marco Marklewitz, Sebastian Maurer-Stroh, Jairo Andres Mendez Rico, Vincent J. Munster, Richard Neher, Bas Oude Munnink, Boris I. Pavlin, Malik Peiris, Leo Poon, Oliver Pybus, Andrew Rambaut, Paola Resende, Lorenzo Subissi, Volker Thiel, Suxiang Tong, Sylvie Van Der Werf, Anne Von Gottberg, John Ziebuhr, Maria D. Van Kerkhove

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has a linear, unsegmented, positive-sense RNA genome. As with all viruses, SARS-CoV-2 continuously adapts to changing environments in real time via random genome mutations that are subject to natural selection. Most mutations are neutral or detrimental to the virus; however, a small number of mutations may provide a selective advantage, such as escape from the host immune system or resistance to antiviral drugs. Such mutations may also lead to increased fitness for transmissibility. As mutated forms of viruses or variants spread from person to person, they will eventually be detected at the population level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-823
Number of pages3
JournalNature Microbiology
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2021

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