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China develops new mutant Covid strain with 100% death rate in humanised mice

12:16 AM Jan 18, 2024 IST | IANS
china develops new mutant covid strain with 100  death rate in humanised mice
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Beijing, Jan 17: Scientists in China are experimenting with a mutant Covid-19 strain that can cause 100 percent death rate in “humanized” mice, according to a study not published yet.

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The virus, dubbed GX_P2V caused 100 per cent mortality in human ACE2-transgenic mice, potentially due to late-stage brain infection, revealed the study published on preprint site bioRxiv, and not reviewed yet.

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The study by researchers including from University of Chemical Technology and Nanjing University in China, showed that GX_P2V -- attacked the brains of mice that were engineered to reflect similar genetic makeup to people.

“This underscores a spillover risk of GX_P2V into humans and provides a unique model for understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2-related viruses,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

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The deadly GX_P2V is a mutated version of GX/2017 -- a coronavirus cousin that was reportedly discovered in Malaysian pangolins in 2017 -- three years before the pandemic.

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