In a big breakthrough, Indian scientist has captured images of Sars-Cov-2, the virus that Causes Covid-19.
The image was captured from the throat swab of the first patient affected in Pune on January 30th.
The patient is a female medical student who was studying in Wuhan China.
She returned home after the outbreak began in early December.
Dr Nirmal K Ganguly, former director-general, Indian Council of Medical Research talking to HT said “Coronavirus have a crown-like appearance and these spikes on the surface give this virus family its name, as corona means crown in Latin. They have evolved to recognize a variety of receptors, including protein receptors and sugar receptors, and enter cells by first recognizing a host-cell-surface receptor for viral attachment, and then fusing viral and host membranes for entry,”
He also said these images will be critical to learn the mutations in clinical samples.
“These images are critical to study mutations in clinical samples and help identify the genetic origin and evolution of the virus, which will help is understand how the virus moved from animals to infect humans, how people-to-people transmission started, and whether it is still mutating, which will inform work on the development drugs and vaccines,” said Dr Ganguly
The researchers have also found that the gene samples of viruses collected from Kerala match 99.98% with the virus in China’s Wuhan.
“One particular virus particle was very well preserved, showing features very typical of coronaviruses. This particle was 75 nm in size and showed patchy stain pooling on the surface and a distinct envelope projection ending in round peplomeric (glycoprotein spike on the viral surface). These bind only to certain receptors on the host cell,” said Dr Atanu Basu, deputy director and head of electron microscopy and pathology at NIV Pune, which published the imaging.