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4 reasons the B1617 Covid-19 strain spreads so easily
SINGAPORE - The B1617 Covid-19 variant has infiltrated over 50 countries, outcompeted other strains and continues to infect. It will also not be the last time the virus will mutate, experts cautioned.

But what makes this strain, first discovered in India, so good at spreading?

Dr Sebastian Maurer-Stroh, virus expert and executive director of the Bioinformatics Institute at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, points out four features that the B1617 strain has in common with successful virus strains.

He uses one of the three versions of the B1617 strain - the second B16172 version - to show what makes this virus different. B16172 has appeared to overtake B16171 in local cases as well as those reported globally. The third version, B16173, is rare.

First, a little primer on coronavirus biology. What you see in the diagram below is the spike protein of a coronavirus - the little spikes that give the virus its distinctive shape.

[Image: yudiagram40531.jpg]

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