Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Journal of medical virology

The COVID-19 pandemic spread around the globe very rapidly. Previously, the evolution pattern and similarity among the COVID-19 causative organism SARS-CoV-2 and causative organisms of other similar infections have been determined using a single type of genetic marker in different studies. Herein, the SARS-CoV-2 and related beta coronaviruses MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, BAT-CoV were comprehensively analyzed using a custom-built pipeline that employed the phylogenetic approaches based on multiple types of genetic markers including the whole genome sequences, mutations in nucleotide sequences, mutations in protein sequences, and microsatellites. The whole-genome sequence-based phylogeny revealed that the strains of SARS-CoV-2 are more similar to the BAT-CoV strains. The mutational analysis showed that on average MERS-CoV and BAT-CoV genomes differed at 134.21 and 136.72 sites respectively, whereas, SARS-CoV genome differed at 26.64 sites from the reference genome of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, the microsatellite analysis highlighted a relatively higher number of average microsatellites for MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 (106.8, 107 respectively), and a lower number for SARS-CoV, and BAT-CoV (95.8, and 98.5 respectively). Collectively, the analysis of multiple genetic markers of selected beta viral genomes revealed that the newly born SARS-COV-2 is closely related to BAT-CoV, whereas, MERS-CoV is more distinct from the SARS-CoV-2 than BAT-CoV and SARS-CoV. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Rehman Hafiz Abdul, Ramzan Farheen, Basharat Zarrin, Shakeel Muhammad, Khan Muhammad Usman Ghani, Khan Ishtiaq Ahmad


COVID-19, MERS, Pandemic, Phylogenetic, SARS, SARS-CoV-2