Kuwait City, 28th January 2022:
What is NeoCoV? 10 points about new type of coronavirus with high death rate that Wuhan scientists warn of
NeoCov is a strain of Coronavirus like SARS-Cov-2 and may kill one in three persons affected, researchers from Wuhan University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Biophysics have found.
What is Neo-Cov?
In a new research paper that is yet to be peer-reviewed, Chinese researchers have warned of Neo-Cov, a new kind of coronavirus, from South Africa which apparently has a high death and transmission rate. It is associated with the MERS-Coronavirus, a similar type of virus-like SARS-CoV-2, and was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
According to the research, Neo-Cov may carry the high mortality rate of MERS-coronavirus (one in three deaths) with the high transmission rate of SAS-CoV-2, making it a potentially deadly outbreak. as per the World Health Organisation (WHO), MERS-Cov belongs to the large family of coronaviruses that can cause a multitude of diseases including common cold and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
The new research carried out by scientists at Wuhan University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Biophysics studied NeoCov – which emerged along with MERS-Cov and found in bats in South Africa.
Here are 10 things about NeoCov that you must know:
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
- NeoCoV was first found in the bat population in South Africa and it then spread among animals, according to the Sputnik report.
- It has not yet been found to have infected any humans, yet scientists are bracing for such an eventuality.
- A new study by Wuhan-based scientists has recently claimed that one mutation could lead to the virus being passed from animals to humans.
- The new virus NeoCoV is not similar to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The yet-to-be peer-reviewed study recently posted on the preprint repository BioRxiv, shows that NeoCov is closely related to the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), a viral disease first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.<
- Wuhan University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Biophysics scientists warn that all that this virus needs to be able to cross the animal-to-humans transmission barrier is ONE mutation.
- If the virus acquires that one mutation, the virus NeoCov will be able to infiltrate human cells and pose a risk because it binds to the ACE2 receptor differently than the coronavirus pathogen. A receptor-binding domain is a key part of a virus that allows it to dock to body receptors to gain entry into cells and lead to infection.
- Because of its unique pattern of binding, the human host will be rendered totally defenceless at least in the current circumstances.
Neither antibodies nor protein molecules (targetting SARS-CoV2 or MERS virus) produced by people with respiratory diseases or who have been immunised against COVID-19 can cross-neutralise or protect against NeoCoV, said the researchers.
- However, the Russian researchers from Vector Russian State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology have stated that they are not aware of the Chinese research on NeoCoV coronavirus and state that more study is required.
- Bottom line: But remember, in its current form, NeoCov does not infect humans and further mutations may make it potentially harmful though, the researchers noted. “Considering the extensive mutations in the receptor-binding domain ( RBD) regions of the SARS-CoV-2 variants, especially the heavily mutated Omicron variant, these viruses may hold a latent potential to infect humans through further adaptation,” the authors of the study added.
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Source – Times Now