The study of the coronavirus in BATS sheds light on how the killer virus evolves
Bats have been identified as the likely source of Wuhan’s killer coronavirus and scientists say that closely monitoring flying mammals could help fight infection.
The information obtained from the analysis of animal DNA and viral DNA trapped inside also helps scientists predict the ‘critical points’ of any future outbreak.
Researchers have created a cheaper and faster test than the current method that requires a lung sample, which scans a host’s DNA for signs of infection.
Then it reveals information about its virology, evolution and geographic extension.
They also hope that this information can be used to predict how viruses, including the current 2019-nCoV outbreak, will spread in both bats and humans.
Complex data on the genetic status and evolution of the virus can be fed to a computer model to predict possible critical points of future contamination.
It occurs when research published in The Lancet used a similar method to determine that bats are the most likely cause of the original virus host.
Samples taken from the lungs of nine patients in Wuhan were screened to reveal that it is genetically different from the deadly SARS virus.
They suggest that the bats transmitted the disease to an “intermediate” host who was at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan before moving on to the “terminal host”: humans.
However, 2019-nCoV and the human SARS virus have similar structures, despite some small crucial differences.
As a result, the authors of the latter suggest that 2019-nCoV could use the same molecular gate to enter cells as SARS (a receptor called ACE2).
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The images that appear on Twitter show a soup cooked with a bat. Bats are used in traditional Chinese medicine to “treat” a number of diseases, including cough, malaria and gonorrhea. Bats have been confirmed as the most likely source of infection.
A pilot in a protective suit parks a cargo plane at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, in the central Chinese province of Hubei
Samples taken from the lungs of nine patients in Wuhan were screened to reveal that it is genetically different from the deadly SARS virus. They suggest that the bats transmitted the disease to an ‘intermediate’ host who was at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan before moving on to the ‘terminal host’: humans
THE MURDERER VIRUS CAN PROVIDE THE BATS, SCIENTISTS SAY
According to scientists, the killer coronavirus that spreads throughout the world can come from bats.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the People’s Liberation Army and the Shanghai Pasteur Institute concluded.
In a statement, the team said: ‘The natural host of the’ Wuhan coronavirus’ could be bats … but between bats and humans there may be an unknown intermediary.
The virus tests, which have not yet been identified, have revealed that it is targeting a protein called ACE2, like its cousin SARS, South China Morning Post reported.
When tracking the evolution of the virus, the team of experts discovered that it belonged to betacoronavirus, which makes it structurally similar to SARS.
Authorities have pointed out the fault of food markets in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak that scientists are struggling to contain.
Rodents and bats, among other animals, are slaughtered and sold in the traditional “wet markets”, which tourists flock to see the “real” side of the country.
US academics UU. And China improved a new method to help track deadly viruses.
A total of 133 people have died in China and more than 6,000 worldwide have contracted the highly contagious infection that can cause pneumonia-like symptoms.
Coronavirus cases have tripled since Sunday and have increased 30 percent in the last 24 hours, and now infect people in 19 different countries.
Dr. Sterghios Moschos, an associate professor of cell and molecular sciences at the University of Nothumbria, who was not involved in the research or development of the test, told MailOnline that a similar method has been used to accelerate the evaluation of infectious diseases in the last years.
However, current tests involve taking lung samples from suspicious cases and this requires time, money and high levels of experience.
He predicts that future outbreaks of infectious diseases will have cheap and non-invasive tests, but they will not be ready in time to help the current outbreak.
He said: ‘To do this in a non-invasive way, we need a way to get the sample of suspected or confirmed patients without entering their lungs.
“At this time we have to dig deep into his lungs, because data published in The Lancet on Friday shows that a cotton swab in the nose is not reliable to detect the virus.”
THE CORONAVIRUS VIRUS IS DIFFERENT FROM SARS, SCIENTISTS SAY
The research published in The Lancet used a similar method of enrichment to determine that bats could be the original host of the virus.
Samples taken from the lungs of nine patients in Wuhan go back to reveal that it is genetically different from SARS and that it may have passed to humans through the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan.
For this reason, the future evolution, adaptation and spread of this virus requires urgent investigation.
The scientists evaluated data from nine patients who were diagnosed with viral pneumonia of unidentified cause.
Eight of the patients had visited Huanan’s seafood market.
A patient had never visited the market, but had stayed at a hotel near the market before the onset of his illness.
The authors discovered that 2019-nCoV and the human SARS virus have similar structures, despite some small differences.
As a result, the authors suggest that 2019-nCoV could use the same molecular gate to enter cells as SARS (a receptor called ACE2).
Professor Guizhen Wu, of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said: ‘In both SARS and MERS, bats acted as a natural reservoir, with another animal acting as an intermediate host and with humans as terminal hosts .
“This again highlights the reservoir of hidden virus in wild animals and its potential to spread to human populations.”
He added: ‘We use these techniques at this time to see how the virus evolves in patients, practically in real time.
‘In the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the first sequence of virus data took months to appear.
‘But for this outbreak, it only takes days or hours.
“However, it is not yet cheap enough to evaluate all who pass through Heathrow for viruses.”
The coronavirus began to make people sick in Wuhan, China, in December after jumping from animals to humans.
This jump between species is rare and makes the virus zoonotic, capable of infecting different species.
Bats are not affected by pathogens in the bloodstream, but people have no protection against viruses, since they are foreign to the human immune system.
And once in humans, it can be easily transmitted from person to person when coughing or sneezing.
Dr. Lin-Fa Wang of the Duke-NUS School of Medicine in Singapore, who created the new cheaper method, said that coronaviruses in bats are particularly important for monitoring.
He said: ‘The coronavirus that caused the fatal outbreak of SARS in 2003, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, is closely related to those found in bats and probably originated with animals.
“The same goes for the viruses behind a mysterious January 2020 outbreak in Wuhan, China, and the 2018 outbreak of acute swine diarrhea syndrome or SADS.”
Dr. Wang believes that his next generation sequencing method (NGS) could offer a solution.
The killer coronavirus outbreak has now killed 132 people and killed more than 6,000. Cases have been detected in Canada, the United States, France and Australia.
Experts say that the difficulty of containing the coronavirus is that many patients have mild cold-like symptoms and don’t realize they have the infection, but it can quickly turn deadly
WHAT IS NGS ENRICHMENT?
Professor Bill Keevil of the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the University of Southampton spoke with MailOnline about the enrichment of NGS.
It only works for known viruses.
“Of all known published virus sequences, choose a small common fragment to provide a template.”
Then, the researchers synthesize the complementary nucleic acid fragment in the laboratory.
“This is used as a primer in PCR amplification of the entire genome.”
Dr. Sterghios Moschos of the University of Northumbria compared the process with photocopying the content in an envelope.
Academics can sequence the genome to identify the strain and evaluate it.
This analysis then reveals key features about the virulence, origin and evolution of the virus.
It involves a method called enrichment that tracks the virus that hides within the genetic material of the bat.
But experts warn that this has historically been an expensive effort.
Therefore, researchers have published an article in the mSphere magazine on how to make a cheaper version, making widespread deployment more likely.
Describes the ability to analyze the DNA of known viruses that lie dormant in bats.
Individual bats are captured and their DNA analyzed through feces or blood samples.
Hiding inside the bat’s DNA is evidence of viral DNA that can be dangerous to humans.
The genetic material is purified and enriched before being sequenced to see what it contains.
The end result of a multi-step process allows scientists to look for minor or major changes in the genome of the virus in patients, whether animal or human.
Professor Bill Keevil, of the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton, told MailOnline: “Rapid changes mean a faster mutation.”
“Knowing some of the key genes means that I might be able to predict whether it will become more infectious or lethal.”
He added that the data could be entered into computer models to predict the spread of the virus and how it will change.
However, Dr. Wang warned that his method is unlikely to solve all test problems.
“We don’t want to declare that enrichment is the panacea for all NGS challenges, but in this case, I think it’s a step in the right direction,” he said.
Dr. Wang said the disadvantage of his technique is that ‘you only find the viruses you know.’
The coronavirus of the bat, like all viruses, also changes constantly, making it difficult to control disease, even with new technology.
Professor Keevil says: “It works well until the original sequence of fragments changes into a mutated or new strain.”
Dr. Wang said: ‘Coronaviruses, especially those transmitted by bats, remain an important source of emerging infectious diseases.
‘During the’ peacetime ‘, researchers can build updated banks of probes associated with known forms of coronaviruses.
‘During the’ time of war ‘, they can use that information to track the evolution of viruses and the spread of infections, in animal and even human populations.’
While the coronaviuus outbreak will eventually conclude, academics are warning against complacency.
Dr. Moschos said: “ The scientific community requested this type of study in the middle of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, only this time for bats and primates (these can transmit Ebola).
“Not much was done to support this monitoring, but the little that was done showed us that there are dozens of viruses circulating in these animals without obvious damage that at some point could jump to humans.”
“Even when the outbreak is over, we will still have to be aware of what is happening in wildlife, to prevent people from becoming infected,” he adds.
WHAT IS A ZOONOTIC DISEASE?
Zoonotic diseases can pass from one species to another.
The infectious agent, called pathogen, in these diseases can cross the border of the species and still survive.
Their potency varies and, often, they are less dangerous in one species than in another.
To succeed, they depend on prolonged and direct contact with different animals.
Common examples are influenza strains that have been adapted to survive in humans from several different host animals.
H5N1, H7N9 and H5N6 are all strains of avian influenza that originated in infected birds and humans.
These cases are rare, but outbreaks occur when a person has prolonged and direct exposure to infected animals.
The flu strain is also unable to pass from human to human once a person is infected.
An outbreak of swine flu in 2009 (H1N1) was considered a pandemic and governments spent millions developing ‘tamiflu’ to stop the spread of the disease.
Influenza is zoonotic because, as a virus, it can evolve rapidly and change its shape and structure.
There are examples of other zoonotic diseases, such as chlamydia.
Chlamydia is a bacterium that has many different strains in the family in general.
It is known that this happens with some specific strains, for example, Chlamydia abortus.
This specific bacterium can cause abortion in small ruminants, and if transmitted to a human it can cause abortions, premature births and life-threatening diseases in pregnant women.