April 21, 2024

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Scientists find close relatives of COVID-19

Scientists find close relatives of COVID-19


Scientists find close relatives of COVID-19.

According to US media, according to the British journal Nature News and Review, scientists found two viruses similar to the new coronavirus in frozen bats and bat feces stored in laboratories in Cambodia and Japan.


The diversity of coronavirus in a single host is underestimated


According to a report by the American Fun Science website on November 25, while the new coronavirus continues to spread globally, the scientific community has never stopped searching for the source of this pathogen.

Similar to the coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) at the beginning of this century, the new coronavirus may also originate from the bat of the chrysanthemum bat, but there is also evidence that the new coronavirus may host another before infecting humans. Kind of animal body.


According to the report, looking for other coronaviruses similar to the new coronavirus will help solve the mystery and help us understand how the new coronavirus completes the jump from bats to humans, thus triggering the current epidemic. Some virologists told reporters of “Nature News and Review” that they had discovered such a coronavirus in Cambodia.


Research project leader Weisner Dong, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh, said: “We were looking for this and found it. It was both exciting and unexpected.” According to reports, this research is still In progress, the research results have not yet been published in scientific journals.


Weisner Dong’s research team discovered a coronavirus in two flat-headed chrysanthemum-head bats captured in 2010 and cryopreserved. To confirm the relationship between this virus and the new coronavirus, researchers focused on a segment of the virus genome.


Weisner Dong’s research team found that this segment of the new virus is not only similar to the new coronavirus, but also similar to the RaTG13 virus. RaTG13 is the most closely related coronavirus known to the new coronavirus, with a similarity of 96%. The two are likely to diverge from a common ancestor 40 to 70 years ago.


Alan Irwin, an infectious disease scientist at Zhejiang University in China, told the reporter of Nature News and Review that if the new virus discovered by the Cambodian team is more than 97% similar to the new coronavirus, the new virus can replace RaTG13 as the new coronavirus. Know the closest relatives; if the similarity reaches more than 99%, then the new virus is likely to be the direct ancestor of the new coronavirus.


On the other hand, the degree of affinity between the newly discovered virus and the new coronavirus may not be as close as RaTG13. For example, the November 2 issue of the US “Journal of New Infectious Diseases” pointed out that scientists recently discovered a coronavirus in frozen bat feces in Japanese laboratories, and its genome is approximately 81% similar to the new coronavirus. Cell culture experiments show that this virus, called Rc-o319, cannot use the same receptor as the new coronavirus to invade human cells.


The report pointed out that whether the virus discovered by scientists in Cambodia can infect human cells is still a mystery to be solved.

But regardless of the results of the study, the discovery of new coronaviruses in bats of the genus Rhinolophus can provide clues for us to study the process of the new coronavirus jumping to the human body and help us predict future epidemics.



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