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They discover a virus similar to Covid-19: it comes from the bat and is resistant to vaccines

Many governments around the world, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) assure that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic is very close, however, a discovery can completely change this.

A team of researchers from Washington State University, United States, pointed out that there is a Russian bat, which can transmit a virus similar to SARS-CoV-2 and with the ability to enter human cells.

It may interest you: The end of the Covid-19 pandemic is in sight: WHO

What is the new virus similar to Covid-19?

The virus, currently called Khosta-2, is a sarbecovirus, the same subcategory as the virus that causes Covid-19.

The team points out that the proteins of this new pathogen can affect human cells and are resistant to both monoclonal antibodies and serum from people vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2.

Both the Khosta-1 and Khosta-2 viruses were discovered in bats in Russia at the end of 2020 and at first it seemed that they did not threaten humans, however, the team of researchers indicated that when analyzing it in depth they saw that they could infect to human cells.

The first version of the virus did not pose a high risk to humans, but Khosta-2 showed “some worrying features,” according to a statement from the University of Washington.

Like SARS-CoV-2, Khosta-2 can use its Spike (S) protein to infect by binding to the ACE2 receptor on human cells.

What about the current vaccines against Covid-19?

The researchers wanted to determine if current vaccines could protect against this virus and found that it was not neutralized by serum derived from groups vaccinated for covid-19.

They also tried serum from people who had been infected with the omicron variant, but the antibodies were also ineffective.

Will there be a new pandemic?

Letko indicated that “fortunately the new virus lacks some of the genes that are believed to be involved in pathogenesis in humans”, although there is a risk that it will recombine with a second virus such as SARS-CoV-2.

“When we see that SARS-Cov-2 has this ability to spread from humans to 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 in. this scenario where you keep rolling the dice until they combine to make a potentially riskier virus,” he said.

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The discovery of Khosta-2, according to Letko, highlights the need to develop universal vaccines that protect against sarbecoviruses in general, and not only against the known variants of SARS-CoV-2.

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