Double mutant variant is a term used to refer to a variant of a virus with two mutations. The term has been most commonly used to refer to a particular variant of the COVID-19 virus first reported in March 2021. This variant is thought to have emerged in the Indian state of Maharashtra, but has also been reported in other locations, including in the US in California. A mutant is an organism that undergoes a mutation. The word variant is used in microbiology to refer to a form of a virus that mutated from another strain. All variants of a virus are the result of a mutation. A double mutant variant of a virus is so-called because it is the result of two simultaneous mutations. There are likely other COVID-19 variants with multiple mutations, but the term double mutant variant has been associated with the one first documented by Indian health officials in March 2021. There is evidence of a link between this double mutant variant and the rapid increase in COVID-19 infections in the country around the time that it was first reported. In the context of COVID-19, the term double mutant variant is often used interchangeably with double mutant strain.
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