In a study, an international research team identified the origin of the novel coronavirus Sars-CoV-2. Animals have had it for many years.
- The coronavirus pandemic * has claimed many victims worldwide.
- An international research team from Pennsylvania State University examined the origin of the novel coronavirus * Sars-CoV-2 .
- Animals have been carrying the coronavirus for many years.
Munich / Pennsylvania - The coronavirus pandemic has claimed many victims worldwide. More than 19 million people were infected with the disease Covid-19 , which is caused by the novel coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 . Over 700,000 of those infected died worldwide. An international research team from Pennsylvania State University has now discovered a sister virus of Sars-CoV-2 in a study . Both viruses appear to have the same origin.
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Coronavirus: bats and pangolins suspected as hosts
Until now it was considered certain that the novel coronavirus jumped from animals to humans. In specialist circles, one speaks of a zoonosis in this regard . Initially, bats, i.e. bats , fruit bats and the like, were assumed to be the initial hosts.
A pangolin , the pangolin, has been suggested as a host, for that important for binding to human cells spiked protein of SARS-CoV-2 is similar to the protein of some occurring at Pangolinen coronaviruses . Both species may also be involved in the zoonosis. The virus could of bats on the pangolins jumped and afterward from this intermediate host for people to be reached.
Corona: International research team researches the origin of Sars-CoV-2
Since the outbreak, there has been a lot of research on the subject of coronavirus worldwide *. An international research team led by the infectious agent Maciej Boni from Pennsylvania State University has now analyzed the genes of the novel coronavirus in order to be able to reconstruct its origins. The scientists published their results in the journal "Nature Microbiology".
Evolutionary origins of the SARS-CoV-2 sarbecovirus lineage responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic - The lineage giving rise to SARS-CoV-2 has been circulating unnoticed in bats for decades
By Maciej Boni @arambaut @robertson_lab @LemeyLab et al. https://t.co/hzfyxkD0mw
The novel coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 is an RNA virus. The genetic material therefore consists of the biomolecule ribonucleic acid . The scientists compared the RNA sequences with those of other bat coronaviruses . They examined the degree of recombination in the genome of these viruses to see to what extent parts of their genome were exchanged.
The lead author of the study Boni explains: "Coronaviruses have genetic material that is highly recombinant, which means that different regions of the virus genome come from multiple sources." This has made it difficult to reconstruct the origins of Sars-CoV-2 . “We had to identify all of these regions and follow their stories,” says the infectiologist .
Sars-CoV-2 likely developed into a human virus in bats
The researchers found that Sars-CoV-2 and another bat virus called RaTG13 are very closely related. This virus was found in 2013 in a horseshoe bat , a bat that lived in Yunnan Province about 1,600 kilometers from Wuhan , from where the corona pandemic first spread . The genetic match between the two viruses is 96 percent . They are therefore probably descended from a direct common ancestor. SARS-CoV-2 and RaTG13 well developed, as well as other related coronaviruses , in the horseshoe bats, but in two different lines.
According to the study, two similar corona viruses that were found in pangolins split off before the Sars-CoV-2 / RaTG13 line was formed. The researchers conclude from this that the novel coronavirus probably did not develop into the human virus in pangolins but in bats.
New #Coronavirus Circulated Unnoticed In #Bats For Decades: Study
Coronavirus: Horseshoe bats are the most plausible origin of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen, researchers led by Maciej Boni ... https: //t.co/1nebfQeK8v pic.twitter .com / z9W2SkOJqr
The scientists point out: "Overall, our analysis points to bats as the primary reservoir for the Sars-CoV-2 line." It is possible that pangolins , or another as yet unidentified species, served as intermediate hosts on humans. "But currently it looks like a virus that developed in bats produced a group of viruses that can infect the upper respiratory tract of humans and pangolins," the researchers explain .
Study: More bat coronaviruses could also spread to humans
According to the study, the sting protein for the docking of SARS-CoV-2 is responsible to the ACE2 receptors on human cells, hardly changed by recombination. This means that this structure, which makes the novel coronavirus into a pathogen for humans in the first place, can also be found in other bat coronaviruses . These could also attack human cells.
The researchers around the infectiologist Boni therefore conclude: “The different strains that descend from the common ancestor of Sars-CoV-2 / RaTG13 form a group with the general ability to infect mammalian cells. This enabled the transition to humans, and that could happen again. ”Since it is difficult to detect dangerous pathogens before they break out, the scientists are calling for a global monitoring system to detect unusual clusters of diseases as quickly as possible and to locate the pathogens do.
Doctors warn of possible consequential damage from Covid 19 disease - especially to the lungs. A corona study from Wuhan, China, now points in this direction. The British corona management seems anything but to run smoothly. Around 740,000 corona tests had to be recalled. (ph) * Merkur.de is part of the nationwide Ippen-Digital network