In a span of a few weeks, we’ve got all discovered quite a bit about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it: SARS-CoV-2. However, there have additionally been a variety of rumors. And whereas the variety of scientific articles on this virus is growing, there are nonetheless many gray areas as to its origins.
In 2019 December, 27 of the first 41 individuals hospitalized (66 %) handed by means of a market situated within the coronary heart of Wuhan metropolis in Hubei province. However, in line with a study conducted at Wuhan Hospital, the very first human case recognized didn’t frequent this market. As an alternative, a molecular dating estimate based on the SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences signifies an origin in November. This raises questions in regard to the hyperlink between this COVID-19 epidemic and wildlife.
The SARS-CoV-2 genome was quickly sequenced by Chinese researchers. It’s an RNA molecule of about 30,000 bases containing 15 genes, together with the S gene which codes for a protein situated on the floor of the viral envelope (for comparability, our genome is within the type of a double helix of DNA about three billion bases in measurement and comprises about 30,000 genes).
Comparative genomic analyses have proven that SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the group of Betacoronaviruses and that it is rather near SARS-CoV, answerable for an epidemic of acute pneumonia, which appeared in November 2002 within the Chinese language province of Guangdong after which unfold to 29 nations in 2003.
Since then, many Betacoronaviruses have been found, mainly in bats, but in addition to people. For instance, RaTG13, remoted from a bat of the species Rhinolophus affinis collected in China’s Yunan Province, has just lately been described as similar to SARS-CoV-2, with genome sequences identical to 96 percent. These outcomes point out that bats, and specific species of the genus Rhinolophus, represent the reservoir of the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 viruses.