Pangolin is a potential intermediate host for the new coronavirus, according to new research results released today by South China Agricultural University. Lingnan Modern Agricultural Science and Technology Guangdong Province Laboratory, South China Agricultural University researchers through joint research, in the new coronavirus potential intermediate host traceability breakthrough, found that the isolation from pangolin strains and the current infection of human strains of the strain sequence similarity as high as 99%.
A new coronavirus electromirror photo isolated from pangolins. South China Agricultural University
At a press conference today, Xiao Lihua, a professor at South China Agricultural University, said the original source of the coronavirus was usually bats.
How does the virus infect people from bats? The SARS virus is passed through the intermediate host beaver, and the MERS virus is passed through camels. Available evidence suggests that wild animals may be the source of the new coronavirus, as early cases have a history of exposure to the South China seafood market. Seafood and animals are sold in the market, and new coronaviruses are also detected in environmental samples.
In carrying out virus traceability work, the researchers identified pangolins as potential intermediate hosts of the new coronavirus by analyzing more than 1,000 macro genome samples. Then through molecular biology testing, it was revealed that the positive rate of beta-coronavirus in pangolins was 70%. Through the isolation identification of the virus, the typical coronavirus particle structure was observed under the electric mirror, and the genome of the virus was analyzed, and the isolated virus strains were found to be as similar as 99% to the current strain of infected humans.
Xiao Lihua said the results of the study could help block the source of the virus and avoid long-term transmission of the pathogen.
So, is the intermediate host unique? Shen Yongyi, a professor at South China Agricultural University, says pangolins are potential intermediate hosts, but in general, there may be multiple intermediate hosts, and other small predators, in addition to fruit beavers, may amplify the virus. The results were released early to keep the crowd away from the animals, while giving other scientists tips to dig out other potential hosts together.
The tracing of new coronaviruses has been a matter of great concern. On January 23rd, Shi Zhengli’s team at the Wuhan Virus Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences published an article on the bioRxiv preplate platform, and found that the sequence of the new coronavirus was as consistent as 96% with the coronavirus in a bat, and that the new coronavirus could have originated in the bat.
A study published on January 24th by Zhu Waiball, a professor of biomedical engineering at Peking University’s School of Technology, suggests that bats and otters may be two potential hosts for the new coronavirus, with otters likely intermediate hosts.