Sumary of What may the future hold in terms of SARS-CoV-2 variants?:
- Most severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) mutations cause only mild harm.
- However, a small percentage of mutations can boost viral virulence and promote host-virus interactions that are critical to viral entry and infection.
- For example, SARS-CoV-2 spike protein mutations can significantly affect viral behavior, as the spike protein mediates viral attachment to host cell surface receptors.
- VUMs are variants with genetic mutations that alter viral characteristics, although the phenotypic or epidemiological impact of these mutations is not clear.
- Quantifying the number of variants that may pose a potential risk for public health is crucial for future planning in the fight against viral epidemics.
- Their fit permits fairly accurate estimation of the number of relevant SARS-CoV-2 variants that can emerge for a particular number of infected individuals around the world.