(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have found that the bat coronavirus NeoCov, which was recently discovered in South Africa, has much in common with the causative agent of the Middle East fever MERS.
This virus can easily enter cells just like SARS-CoV-2. If at least one mutation occurs in the genome of this virus, this will cause NeoCov to become incredibly dangerous for humans.
In order to enter cells, the open virus uses the ACE2 receptor. If a mutation occurs in its shell, this will cause NeoCov to not only be able to spread rapidly among bats, but also be able to easily enter human cells. It is worth paying attention to the fact that antibodies that can cope with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 will be powerless against the virus.
The pandemic has caused experts to actively study the history of the origin of the coronavirus, as well as look for other variants of the disease that can be dangerous not only for animals, but also for humans.
It has been established that pathogens of this type are present in populations not only of bats, but also of many other animals that live in different countries. If a person begins to contact these animals more often, then there is a high risk that new pandemics may occur that will be related to the coronavirus.
A team of biologists led by Wuhan University professor Yan Huan discovered the NeoCov virus. Its closest relative, the causative agent of Middle East fever MERS , is capable of infecting the lungs. NeoCov, in turn, affects the respiratory system in the same way, but at the same time uses special protein ACE2 receptors, which makes it similar to SARS-CoV-2.
At the moment, the virus does not pose any threat to humans, but everything can change if at least one point mutation occurs in the genome of a new type of coronavirus.
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