According to a study that origin of the coronavirus epidemic, the coronavirus is well suited for jumping from animal to human by gaining the novel design and ability to infect people.
Researchers from the University of Texas at El Paso, USA, carried out a genetic analysis of the novel coronavirus and its similar variants in animals and confirmed that it is a coronavirus that affects its close relative bats.
Advances study showed that the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to infect humans is by transferring an important genetic component from a coronavirus to a scaly mammal called pangolin.
Researchers say that the coronavirus is not directly infected with humans cells from bats.
They state that the virus is able to infect humans after its genetic evolution and then it can be easily catch-up with human cell.
“Beginning of SARS from bats to trombary camels that jumped from bats to cheetahs, then evolved into the genetic choice of this pandemic coronavirus, which eventually infected humans,” said Feng Cao, a study co-author at Duke University in the United States.
In the present study, researchers found that common pangolin coronaviruses were very different from SARS-CoV-2, which directly caused the human infection.
However, pangolin coronaviruses have a receptor-binding site – part of the spike protein required to bind to the cell membrane – that is crucial for human infection.
This binding site examines the attachment of a cell surface protein that is abundant in human respiratory and intestinal epithelial cells, endothelial cell and kidney cells.
Although the coronavirus is closely related to the virus ancestor of the bat, SARS-CoV-2, its binding site is very different, the study noted. Scientists have claimed that the virus cannot effectively infect human cells with this binding site.
They suggested that the coronavirus could be a hybrid between novel bat and pangolin viruses to obtain the “key” receptor-binding site required for human infection.
“Unlike coronaviruses that affect humans, bats and pangolins have portions of the virus with a similarity of amino acid sequences, suggesting that these viruses are under a similar host choice and that the ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 could be readily transmitted from these animals to humans.” Xiaojun Li said.