Khosta-2: Everything you need to know about the Russian bat virus that can affect humans

Everything you need to know about Khosta-2

American scientists have discovered a new virus in bats that could be bad news for humanity. The new virus, called Khosta-2, not only infects human cells, but also resists existing vaccines. Research published in the journal PLOS Pathogens reports that the virus is resistant to the antibodies of people vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 – which causes COVID-19. News week.

The virus was first detected in bats in Russia in 2020, but at the time scientists did not think the virus posed a threat to humans. After careful research by scientists, they have confirmed that the virus can infect human cells and pose a threat to public health.

What is Khosta-2?

Sarbecoviruses, which include Khosta-2 and SARS-CoV-2, are a subgroup of coronaviruses.

According to the report time Magazine, Khosta-1, a related virus found in Russian bats, cannot easily enter human cells, but Khosta-2 can. Khosta-2 binds to the ACE2 protein that SARS-CoV-2 uses to enter human cells. A researcher says receptors on human cells are a way for viruses to enter cells. If a virus does not enter the door, it cannot enter the cell, and it is difficult to establish any kind of infection. The new virus can easily damage human cells. Michael Lecko, the study’s author, said that people who had been vaccinated against Covid-19 could not clear the virus, and neither could people who had recovered from an omicron infection.

However, the researchers say that unlike the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, this virus lacks genes that can cause severe disease in humans. But if mixed with the genes of SARS-CoV-2, it could eventually change.

How does it spread?

Khosta-2 has been circulating in wildlife such as bats, pangolins, raccoon dogs, and palm civets. As Mr Leko told Newsweek, it is difficult to say at this stage that Khosta-2 has the potential to trigger an outbreak or even a pandemic.

The scientists warned that Khosta-2 could have more infectious factors if combined with SARS-CoV-2. The probability of SARS-CoV-2 interacting with Khosta-2 in nature is very low, but there are increasing reports of SARS-CoV-2 entering wildlife. East Coast of the United States,” Letko said.

Vaccine research

“There are currently groups trying to come up with a vaccine that won’t protect against the next SARS-CoV-2 variant, but will protect us from sarbecoviruses in general,” Letko said.

He added: “Unfortunately, many of the vaccines we have now are designed [for] Certain viruses that we are familiar with attack human cells or viruses that seem to pose the greatest risk of infecting us. But this list is always changing. “We need to expand the design of these vaccines to protect against all sarbecoviruses,” Leko added.

Known issues around the world

The virus lacks certain genes believed to be involved in pathogenesis in humans – meaning it develops into disease.

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