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They discover in Russian bats a virus similar to Covid and resistant to vaccines

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A virus recently discovered in a Russian bat and similar to SARS-CoV-2 it is capable of entering human cells and would be resistant to vaccines, but it lacks some of the genes thought to be involved in human pathogenesis.

The virus has been called Khosta-2 and is a sarbecovirusthe same subcategory as SARS-CoV-2, which causes covid-19, indicates the study published by Plos Pathogenes A team led by the Washington State University discovered that Khosta-2 proteins can infect human cells and they are resistant to both monoclonal antibodies and serum from people vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2.

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Khosta-1 and Khosta-2 viruses were discovered in bats in Russia in late 2020 and at first it seemed that they did not threaten humans. Nevertheless, lead research author Michael Letko of the University of Washingtonindicated that when analyzing it in depth they saw that they could infect human cells.

The team determined that Khosta-1 posed a low 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.

The researchers wanted to determine if current vaccines could protect against this virus and found that 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.

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Letko indicated that “fortunately the new virus lacks some of the genes thought 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 pproperties we really don’t want them to haveyou set up this scenario where you keep rolling the dice until they combine to make a potentially riskier virus,” he said.

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.

Source: Lasexta

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