Novel coronavirus could be a hybrid of bat and pangolin viruses: study

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SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could be a hybrid that descended from different clades of bat and pangolin viruses, according to new research in Science Advances.

Writing in a news release, the team says the bat virus RaTG13 is the closest genetic relative to SARS-CoV-2, with a 96.3 percent RNA similarity. However, the bat virus does not have the spike protein parts used by SARS-CoV-2 for infecting humans.

Yet another close relative, a clade of SARS-like pangolin virus from China, has receptor-binding domains that closely match the corresponding parts of the novel coronavirus.

The bat and pangolin viruses likely recombined to form SARS-CoV-2. Recombining may occur when two similar viruses infect the same cell. When this happens, molecules that made up the distinct viruses are reshuffled into a new pathogen.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. SARS-CoV-2 could be a hybrid of bat and pangolin viruses
2. Bat virus RaTG13 is the closest genetic relative to SARS-CoV-2
3. Pangolin SARS-like virus possesses similar spike proteins to SARS-CoV-2
4. Recombination of bat and pangolin viruses in a cell produces SARS-CoV-2

VOICEOVER (in English):
"SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could be a hybrid that descended from different clades of bat and pangolin viruses, according to new research in Science Advances."

"Writing in a news release, the team says the bat virus RaTG13 is the closest genetic relative to SARS-CoV-2, with a 96.3 percent RNA similarity. However, the bat virus does not have the spike protein parts used by SARS-CoV-2 for infecting humans."

"Yet another close relative, a clade of SARS-like pangolin virus from China, has receptor-binding domains that closely match the corresponding parts of the novel coronavirus."

"The bat and pangolin viruses likely recombined to form SARS-CoV-2. Recombining may occur when two similar viruses infect the same cell. When this happens, molecules that made up the distinct viruses are reshuffled into a new pathogen."


SOURCES: Science Advances, Duke University
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/05/28/sciadv.abb9153
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200529161221.htm