West Nile Virus.. Image Source: IANS

June 08 : Ever since the first case of Coronavirus was detected in Wuhan, researchers and scientists have resorted to research to find out more about the deadly pandemic. Now, at the Duke University Medical Center, a team of scientists has found that this virus is most likely to have attained the shapeshifting attribute. This has taken place as it was able to travel from animals to humans and also successfully infect the human cells. Due to this, the scientists predict that we can expect more new human coronaviruses to arise in the near future.

Research Highlights

As per the genetic analysis was done at the University, it was confirmed that one breed of this type of coronavirus had infected bats. After that, this virus had infected the scaly mammal called pangolin. This move had helped the virus to gain a critical gene that could easily infect humans.

The research proved that with each jump from one species to species, this has helped the virus to infect the host cells. This was possible with slight genetic alterations of the virus. In the case of humans, the SARS COV- 2, had used its ill-famed spike protein to attach to human cells and infect them.

In the past, research had revealed that the original SARS had modified its genes as it moved from bats to the civets. Also, in the case of MERS, it had moved from the bats to the dromedary camels and then finally onto the human race.

This virus needs a receptor binding property to infect the host. In the case of humans, it was the spike protein that helped to fix onto the cells, and spread to the respiratory and intestinal epithelial cells and also kidney cells.

But in the ancestor of this virus, it had a different receptor binding property and that was not sufficient to get attached to a human cell. This only went to prove that the virus changed the genetic properties in a slight manner, according to its host cells.

Wrapping Up

The researchers feel that once the original evolution pathway of this virus is traced out, it will help deter the future pandemics arising out of this virus. Also, it will help medical researchers develop vaccines to bring an end to such a problem.

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