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Review Article Open Access

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Genetic Variations and Mutations in the COVID-19 Genomic Sequence: A Systematic and Meta-Analysis Review


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The high mutation rate of RNA viruses causes genetic variation, virus evolution and it is a strategy to escape the immune system. In the present study, all researches and evidence were extracted from the available online national databases. Two researchers randomly evaluated the assessment of the research sensitivity. Finally, after quality assessment and specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, the eligible articles were entered for meta-analysis. The heterogeneity between the results of studies was measured using test statistic (Cochran's Q) and I2 index. The forest plots illustrated the point and pooled estimates with 95% confidence intervals (crossed lines). All statistical analyses were performed using comprehensive meta-analysis V.2 software. This meta-analysis included 13 primary studies investigating the SARS-CoV-2 genetic variations and mutations in the COVID-19 genomic sequence. According to the pooled prevalence (95% confidence interval) of mutations, the spike gene variations showed the highest non-synonymous mutation frequency (16.4%, CI: 13.6, 16.6) and the Non-Structural Protein (NSP) genes possess the highest mutation frequency among total mutations (31.6%, CI: 21, 44.6). Genomic mutation analysis of SARS-CoV-2 strains may provide knowledge about different biological infrequent mutations and their relationships of viral transmission, pathogenicity, infectivity, and fatality rates between SARS-CoV-2 and human cells.

Tahoora Mousavi1*, Monireh Golpour1, Reza Valadan1,2, Reza Alizadeh Navaei3, Mehryar Zargari4, Mehrdad Gholami5, Mohammadreza Haghshenas6

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