Mayo Clinic Q&A

From complex or serious conditions like cancer and heart disease to the latest news on research and wellness, host Dr. Halena Gazelka asks the questions and gets easy-to-understand answers from Mayo Clinic experts

Episodes Viruses can't mutate if they can't replicate

The Spike (S) proteins on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, give the virus its corona (crown-like) appearance. These spike proteins bind to receptors on healthy cells and fuse with their outer membrane. The SARS-CoV-2 then delivers its genome into the cell and uses the cell’s machinery to replicate itself.

Viruses can’t mutate if they can’t replicate
March 24, 2021

The COVID-19 virus mutates and replicates when people let down their guard and don't follow safety protocols, such as practicing social distancing and wearing a mask. 

"I think most of us expect a major surge because of spring break travel and the relaxation of restrictions," says Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "And the sort of COVID fatigue that all of us feel, in one way or another."

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland addresses the potential of a fourth COVID-19 surge, new information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant women and he discusses research for next generation vaccines for COVID-19 variants.