A variant of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that is “extremely less powerful” than the one that is widely spread has been isolated in Italy’s Brescia of Lombardy region. Prof. Arnaldo Caruso, President of the Italian Society of Virology said that the virus they isolated took at least six days to start attacking cells, as opposed to the widely circulated strains of the novel coronavirus, which takes only two to three days. He said the usual SARS-CoV-2 virus “are biological bombs capable of exterminating target cells in 2-3 days,” as reported by HuffPost.
Caruso is also the director of the Laboratory of Microbiology and Virology at the University of Brescia, where his team of researchers found this major result at the Laboratory at the Spedali Civili of Brescia after they studied a swab of an asymptomatic patient with high viral charge, but weaker in strength, an Italian outlet Adnkronos reported.
After this feat, Caruso wanted “to send a message of hope.” Even after putting the strain of COVID-19 virus in contact with good cells to attack, it “could not even kill them all,” Caruso said, by which he found that even in order just start attacking cells the newly extracted strain needed at least six days.
The winning virus would be that one that would adapt most to its environment while replicating itself by saving the cell that hosts it. This phenomenon, scientists call “viral fitness”, he explained. He said that there is a certainty that the attenuated variants of coronavirus would be on the winning side someday, while the most widespread ones would merely be studied for the next possible epidemics, he explained to Corriere. This finding would help in the COVID-19 vaccine and drug research.
Caruso is optimistic about the summer due to the fact that the new cases of COVID-19 are coming down with not so severe symptoms. However, he said that we must not let our guard down, by continuing to wear masks, with social distancing, while gradually returning to a normal life.
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