NewsWorldA virus found in Russia, a distant relative of...

A virus found in Russia, a distant relative of SARS-CoV-2, that infects humans and resists vaccines

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It has been proven, in the laboratory, that it is capable of entering human cells and infecting them using the ACE2 receptor, the same one used by the coronavirus There are no outbreaks or infections in the real world due to this pathogen, but this type of study helps to calibrate the risks we faceExperts warn of the need to keep a close eye on new emerging pathogens, also outside of Southeast AsiaIt is a sarbecovirus, that is, a pathogen that belongs to the same family as SARS-CoV-2, although it is a different lineage. And the study in which they warn about it, an investigation published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, already reviewed by peers, starts from the discovery of new coronaviruses in horseshoe bats from southern Russia. The researchers tried to answer one question: whether these new viruses could infect humans. And with this one, contrary to what happens with most of the sarbecoviruses found, the response was positive. The virus is called Khosta-2 and in laboratory experiments it was shown to be resistant both to treatments with monoclonal antibodies against covid-19 and to serum from vaccinated people. A finding that helps to better gauge the risks This is research carried out carried out in the controlled environment of a laboratory. This data is important, because there are no outbreaks or infections in the real world due to this pathogen at the moment. But this type of study helps to calibrate the risks and balances with the environment, and the fauna that humans must take into account in the face of future public health challenges. In fact, both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 belong to this subgenus of viruses, use the ACE2 enzyme as an entrance to human cells and have caused pandemics. Bats are known to be the main reservoirs of this type of virus in nature, and the most likely origin of those that have affected humans, such as SARS-CoV-2. Closely monitor other areas of the planet “The biggest surprise is that this ability (to infect humans) it occurs in a virus that is not closely related to SARS-CoV-2, but rather belongs to a different lineage,” Fernando González Candelas, professor of Genetics and co-director of the SeqCOVID consortium, warns SMC Spain. “The discovery that coronaviruses close to SARS-CoV-2, isolated from bats outside of Southeast Asia, could infect humans represents a new wake-up call on the need to keep a close eye on new emerging pathogens even in areas of the world. planet that until now has not been considered to harbor relevant threats”. This finding “also opens an interesting field of work, which is already being explored in the new variants of SARS-CoV-2 and their relationship with human receptors, in the that other routes of entry of the virus and the use of other proteases for the processing of the spicule are being evaluated”, explains María Iglesias-Caballero, Virologist at the Carlos III Health Institute, in statements to SMC Spain. “Potential findings of new receptors in bats may help improve our understanding of cell entry in humans.”

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