Saturday, October 1

Khosta 2: Russian bat virus threatens to be a new pandemic | Digital Trends Spanish


A new virus with zoonotic potential threatens the tranquility of the WHO due to the control and lethargy experienced by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is Khosta 2, a virus present in Russian bats and capable of infecting humans and evading coronavirus defenses and antibodies.

A team led by researchers at the Paul G. Allen School for Global Health at Washington State University (WSU) discovered that Khosta-2 can use its spike proteins to infect human cells much like SARS does. -CoV-2.

“Our research further demonstrates that sarbecoviruses circulating in wildlife outside of Asia, including in places like western Russia where the Khosta-2 virus was found, also pose a threat to global health and vaccination campaigns in Europe. course against SARS-CoV-2,” Michael Letko, a WSU virologist and corresponding author of the study, said in a statement. study.

The Khosta-1 and Khosta-2 viruses were discovered in bats near Russia’s Sochi National Park in 2020, and initially appeared to pose no threat to humans, according to the study authors.

“Genetically, these strange Russian viruses resembled some of the others that had been discovered in other parts of the world, but because they didn’t resemble SARS-CoV-2, no one really thought they were anything to get too excited about.” Letko said.

“But when we looked at them further, we were very surprised to find that they could infect human cells. That changes our understanding of these viruses a bit, where they come from and which regions are of concern.”

The real risk is that Khosta-2 could wreak havoc by recombining with a second virus like SARS-CoV-2.

“When you see that SARS-2 has this ability to spread from humans and from wildlife, and then there are other viruses like Khosta-2 waiting in those animals with these properties that we really don’t want them to have, it sets this scenario in the right direction. that you keep rolling the dice until they combine to make a potentially riskier virus. Letko said.

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