A new mutation of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection appeared in Bulgaria in April 2020. This became known from an interview with pulmonologist Alexander Simidchiev for Bulgarian National Radio.
According to him, the mutation was first identified at the National AIDS Laboratory, which performs sequencing (determination of the amino acid or nucleotide sequence) of different virus strains. It was after that that the mutation made its way to the U.K., Simidchiev believes.
“The more a virus multiplies in a population, the more likely it is to mutate. Consequently, its spread must be limited,” the specialist said. He added that there is no need for a new vaccine yet because the mutated virus is not significantly different from the original SARS-CoV-2.
The new form of the coronavirus is widespread in the UK and is rapidly replacing the previous variant. The mutated virus has also been found in patients in the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, and Italy.
Although the mutation may make the pathogen more contagious, there is no evidence yet that it facilitates transmission of SARS-CoV-2 or makes the virus more dangerous. Despite this, restrictions on entry from the UK have been imposed in most European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany and France, for example.