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Coronavirus, experts still divided on the pangolin

2020-03-24T13:39:40.146Z

The small armored mammal once again returns to the dock as co-responsible, together with the bat, for the origin of the SarsCoV2 virus (ANSA)



There is no peace for the pangolin. The small armored mammal returns once again to the defendants as co-responsible, together with the bat, of the origin of the SarsCoV2 virus: to call it into question is an American study led by Xiaojun Li of Duke University and available on bioRxiv, the site he shares scientific articles not yet reviewed for publication in an official journal.

Researchers, including the Italian Elena Giorgi of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, recognize that pangolin coronaviruses have a genome too different from SarsCoV2 to be considered ancestors. On the other hand, however, they would contain a sequence with the instructions to produce the 'ram's head' (called Rbm) that hooks the Ace2 receptor of human cells: this genetic sequence is present in the human coronavirus and not in the bat coronaviruses, considered the closer 'relatives' than SarsCoV2. From this point of view it would therefore be plausible that the bat coronaviruses acquired the Rbm sequence through recombination with the pangolin coronaviruses.

The study perplexes Massimo Ciccozzi, who at the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome: "to say that the genomes of the viruses are different but resemble each other for a small sequence, is like saying that two people are twins based only on hair color" , comments the expert, who with his group studied the genetic evolution of SarsCoV2 coming to the conclusion that the origin is to be found in the bat.

Solving the riddle is not a question of goat wool: as the authors of the US study point out, understanding the origin of SarCoV2 could help us prevent new coronaviruses from making the leap by placing human health at risk.

Coronavirus, experts still divided on the pangolin

Understanding the origin of the infection will help to avoid other viruses

The small armored mammal once again returns to the dock as co-responsible, together with the bat, for the origin of the SarsCoV2 virus



There is no peace for the pangolin. The small armored mammal returns once again to the defendants as co-responsible, together with the bat, of the origin of the SarsCoV2 virus: to call it into question is an American study led by Xiaojun Li of Duke University and available on bioRxiv, the site he shares scientific articles not yet reviewed for publication in an official journal.

Researchers, including the Italian Elena Giorgi of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, recognize that pangolin coronaviruses have a genome too different from SarsCoV2 to be considered ancestors. On the other hand, however, they would contain a sequence with the instructions to produce the 'ram's head' (called Rbm) that hooks the Ace2 receptor of human cells: this genetic sequence is present in the human coronavirus and not in the bat coronaviruses, considered the closer 'relatives' than SarsCoV2. From this point of view it would therefore be plausible that the bat coronaviruses acquired the Rbm sequence through recombination with the pangolin coronaviruses.

The study perplexes Massimo Ciccozzi, who at the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome: "to say that the genomes of the viruses are different but resemble each other for a small sequence, is like saying that two people are twins based only on hair color" , comments the expert, who with his group studied the genetic evolution of SarsCoV2 coming to the conclusion that the origin is to be found in the bat.

Solving the riddle is not a question of goat wool: as the authors of the US study point out, understanding the origin of SarCoV2 could help us prevent new coronaviruses from making the leap by placing human health at risk.

Source: ansa

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