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Khosta 2: why we should not worry about the new Coronavirus discovered in Russia


DECRYPTION - Scientists claim that this new virus could bypass the immune protection provided by vaccines. Others invite not to give in to psychosis, recalling that it has not been observed in humans.

For the past few days, a new virus has been talking about him.

Nicknamed "


", it would be from the same family as Sras and Sars'CoV-2, i.e. Covid-19.

In a study published Thursday in the journal PLOS Pathogens, researchers from the University of Washington state that the latter would be able to be transmitted to humans.

And because misfortune never comes alone, this virus could bypass the immune protection provided by current vaccines against Covid.

Discovered in 2020 near the Russian national park of Sochi, the Khosta-1 and Khosta 2 viruses are said to have troubling common characteristics with the Coronavirus subcategory.

Our research demonstrates once again that sarbecoviruses circulating in wildlife outside of Asia – even in places like western Russia where the Khosta-2 virus was discovered – also pose a threat to human health. global health and ongoing vaccination campaigns against SARS-CoV-2

,” warns virologist Michael Letko, author of the study.

Should we therefore fear a new pandemic?

Read alsoCovid-19: why the crisis is behind us

For Professor Antoine Flahault, epidemiologist and director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva, for the moment there is no reason to worry.

The virus would threaten "

if an outbreak starts in Russia

", which is not the case, no case in humans having been listed for the moment.

It is just the result of surveillance, reinforced after the Covid-19 epidemic, of bats potentially carrying this type of virus

”, explains the epidemiologist.

Reinforced surveillance in bats

Surveillance of bats has been strengthened since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 to identify possible reservoirs and intermediate hosts of this virus.

Like that of migratory birds which are carriers of the flu

”, points out Professor Flahault.

We will no doubt move towards monitoring small mammals of the horseshoe bat family to see what the carriage of the coronavirus is and whether or not they are worrying


Just a year ago, in September 2021, researchers from the Institut Pasteur reported having identified bat coronaviruses in northern Laos, appearing to be the closest ancestors of SARS-CoV-2, responsible of Covid-19.

But why do bats carry these viruses?

First of all, it should be remembered that a virus -

a very small infectious agent -

can only reproduce by parasitizing a cell.


They say that there are 1,600,000 viruses that have not been identified in the animal kingdom

", teaches us Professor Flahault.

All mammals, and the entire living kingdom, if I may say so, are carriers of the virus.

For example, a liter of unpolluted seawater contains millions of viruses.

But these viruses are not pathogenic, they carry life.

Remember, however, that life arrived on earth in this way

, ”adds the professor.

For a virus to be pathogenic, it must be able to enter a human cell and multiply there.

But viruses from mammals share genomes that are not too far from ours.


The bat has more generic proximity to us, so the viruses it carries have a greater chance of infecting us

," says Professor Flahault.

He adds: "

Russian horseshoe bats like that of Laos have coronaviruses which can directly infect humans without having to go through another intermediary


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In summary, we hear about these viruses not because they are multiplying, but because their surveillance has been increased.

These viruses have existed for many years, and Russian bats have most certainly been carriers of this coronavirus for some time

”, relativizes Antoine Flahault.

Source: lefigaro

All tech articles on 2022-09-26

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