Ground Report | New Delhi: What Is NeoCov variant; A group of Chinese scientists from Wuhan have warned of a new type of coronavirus – NeoCoV – which has a potentially high infection and death rate. According to a report by Sputnik, the NeoCov virus was discovered in South Africa and it is believed to be linked to the Middle East respiratory syndrome MERS-COV.
Chinese scientists warn of the potential threat of a coronavirus discovered in South Africa in animals, capable of infecting humans and causing a deadly and transmissible disease.
What Is NeoCov variant?
This coronavirus called NeoCov, which spreads in bats, has been studied for at least 10 years. According to this new study are published on the bioRxiv site, the virus has an enzyme of the same type as that of SARS-CoV-2, in particular the ACE2 receptor, which allows it to enter the lungs. However, the enzyme specific to NeoCov acts only in animals.
The researchers warn that a single mutation in its genome would be enough for the virus to acquire the ability to infiltrate human cells. In addition, NeoCov is genetically close to another coronavirus, MERS-CoV, which caused the deadly epidemics that occurred in the Middle East in 2012 and 2015. Its mortality reached 35% of diagnosed cases.
At least 85% of the NeoCov genome is identical to MERS-CoV 2 at the nucleotide level, underlines a study published in 2014 in the Journal of Virology, and carried out by German and African researchers. Therefore, the risk of mortality from an infection caused by NeoCov is estimated to be high.
“Our study demonstrates the first case of ACE2 use in MERS-related viruses, highlighting a potential biosafety threat from the human emergence of an ACE2 using MERS-CoV-2 with both a high mortality and transmission rate,” the researchers write. NeoCov is indeed genetically close to another coronavirus, MERS-CoV, which is at the origin of the deadly epidemics that occurred in the Middle East in 2012 and 2015. Its mortality reached 35% of diagnosed cases. Indeed, according to a previous study published in 2014 in the Journal of Virology , at least 85% of the NeoCov genome is identical to MERS-CoV 2 at the nucleotide level. Its similarity therefore raises concerns in terms of the risk ofmortality .
Finally, the potential danger of the new coronavirus is associated with its evasion of antibodies due to the particular characteristics of the ACE2 receptor, suggest the researchers from Wuhan University and the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In other words, neither the immunity achieved through the antibodies formed during the disease nor that obtained by vaccination could provide effective protection.
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