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All Studies   All Outcomes    Recent:   

Anti-COVID drug accelerates viral evolution

Kosakovsky Pond et al., Nature, doi:10.1038/d41586-023-03248-3
Oct 2023  
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Discussion of the creation of new COVID-19 variants via treatment with molnupiravir. Sanderson et al.1 showed that thousands of viruses with many mutations - sometimes more than 100 - survived molnupiravir treatment, and that mutated viruses were transmitted between individuals and continued to accumulate mutations.
The prevalence of viral genomes with signatures of molnupiravir-induced mutations was strongly correlated with when, where, and how often molnipiravir was used. The mutational signatures were also more common in viruses from older individuals, who tended to be treated with molnupiravir more often.
Authors note that in addition to the evidence of new variants being created, molnupiravir has shown low efficacy2, and data indicates interaction with, and therefore potentially mutatation of, host DNA3,4.
Concerns have been raised that the mutagenic mechanism of action may create dangerous variants or cause cancer3-11. Multiple analyses have identified variants potentially created by molnupiravir1,12-14.
Reviews covering molnupiravir for COVID-19 include3,5,6,13,15-18.
Kosakovsky Pond et al., 24 Oct 2023, peer-reviewed, 2 authors.
This PaperMolnupiravirAll
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