Pullman, Wash. – Is the next pandemic on the horizon? Scientists are calling a new virus similar to Covid. Khosta-2 Bat from Russia. It is believed that it can infect humans, and is resistant to current vaccines.

Khosta-2 was discovered in horse hoose bats two years ago. His discovery adds to this evidence sarbecoviruses – Body Corona virus Family – It is spread throughout Asia and Eastern Europe.

Our research shows that sarbecoviruses circulating in wildlife outside of Asia – even in places where the Khost-2 virus has been found in western Russia – pose a global health threat. Continuous vaccination campaigns against SARS-CoV-2,” said study leader Dr. Michael Leko, Washington State University, in A. press release.

Previous studies suggest that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, originated in animals. perhaps a bat, before spreading to humans. The exact origin of the virus is unknown and is being investigated by a team set up by the World Health Organization (WHO).

What will cause the next pandemic?

Scientists believe Another outbreak occurs in our lifetime. The coronavirus can move between different mammals, such as cats, dogs and minions. By moving between species, the virus can mutate into new pathogens, which could explain how Covid-19 evolved.

In a recent study, Dr. Letko and colleagues found that spike proteins from Khosta-2 can infect human cells. It is resistant to both monoclonal antibodies and serum from individuals vaccinated against Covid-19.

Both Khosta-2 and SARS-CoV-2 belong to the same subclass of coronaviruses known as sarbecoviruses. The study shows the importance of developing Universal vaccines to protect against sarbecoviruses in general rather than known SARS-CoV-2 variants.

“Right now, there are groups trying to come up with a vaccine that not only protects against the next SARS-2 variant, but protects us from sarbecoviruses in general.” “Unfortunately, most of our current vaccines are designed for viruses that we know pose the greatest risk of infecting human cells or us,” said Dr. Letko. But this list is constantly changing. We need to expand the design of these vaccines to protect against all Sarbecoviruses.

In recent years, hundreds of sarbecoviruses have been discovered, especially in Bats in Asia. Most are unable to infect human cells. Khosta-1 and Khosta-2 viruses were discovered in Russian bats in late 2020 and initially appeared to pose no threat to humans.

“Genetically, these unusual Russian viruses resembled some of those found elsewhere around the world, but because they didn’t resemble SARS-CoV-2, no one thought it was really exciting,” he explains. Leco. But when we looked at them further, we were surprised to find that they can infect human cells. That changes a little bit our understanding of these viruses, where they come from and in which regions.

Khosta-2 vs. Covid-19

The study was published in the journal PLoS Pathogens, found Khosta-1 to be of low risk to humans. Khost-2, however, exhibits “disturbing features”. Like SARS-CoV-2, it uses the spike protein to infect cells by binding to a receptor protein called ACE2 (angiotensin converting enzyme 2) found throughout human cells.

Using serum from humans vaccinated for Covid, the scientists saw that Khosta-2 was not neutralised. Further tests confirmed that the antibodies were also ineffective against the serum of infected individuals Omicron variant.

The new virus does not have the genes that cause it to cause covid in humans. But there is a risk of reassortment with a second virus like SARS-CoV-2.

“When you see that SARS-2 has the ability to bounce back from people And to the wildlifeAnd other viruses like Khosta-2 that we don’t want to have are waiting in these animals, it sets up this situation, it sets up this situation. Letko says.

Southwest News Service Writer Mark Wagren contributed to this report.



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