The virus strains in Sri Lanka are continued to be sequenced in order to pick up unusual sequences and to pick up possible new introductions from other countries, Prof. Neelika Malavige, Head of Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine and Director of the Centre for Dengue Research, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura said.
“Our laboratory has been continuously sequencing the viral strains in Sri Lanka to find out if there are any significant changes,” she told Daily Mirror.
“We have sequenced the strains up to the end of November and nothing new has been found so far. It is the same strain that was identified in early October that was seen spreading to different areas by the end of November,” she pointed out.
Commenting on the new virus strain in UK, Prof. Malavige said the new UK strain has several mutations in certain viral proteins and added it was not a surprise as all viruses do mutate with time. “All organisms do, as that is how they evolve,” she said.
“According to the early studies done by UK scientists, this new strain appears to be more transmissible than previous strains. But it is not more virulent (does not cause more severe illness). They are of course doing more experiments to see if it in fact is more transmissible and any other implications regarding this strain,” she added. (Sheain Fernandopulle)