Background: SARS-CoV-2 is a new coronavirus that has spread globally, infecting more than 150000 people, and being declared pandemic by the WHO. We provide here bio-informatic, evolutionary analysis of 351 available sequences of its genome with the aim of mapping genome structural variations and the patterns of selection.
Methods: A Maximum likelihood tree has been built and selective pressure has been investigated in order to find any mutation developed during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic that could potentially affect clinical evolution of the infection.
Finding: We have found in more recent isolates the presence of two mutations affecting the Non-Structural Protein 6 (NSP6) and the Open Reding Frame10 (ORF 10) adjacent regions. Amino acidic change stability analysis suggests both mutations could confer lower stability of the protein structures.
Interpretation: One of the two mutations, likely developed within the genome during virus spread, could affect virus intracellular survival. Genome follow-up of SARS-CoV-2 spread is urgently needed in order to identify mutations that could significantly modify virus pathogenicity.
Keywords: Autophagy; Bio-informatic; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Molecular evolution; SARS-CoV-2.
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