This is how Rhinolophus affinis bats spread the Coronavirus
Rhinolophus affinis bats spread the Coronavirus

Rhinolophus affinis is one of the types of bats scattered throughout most parts and regions of South Asia, in southern and central China, and in Southeast Asia.

A scientific team from the Wuhan Virus Institute in China found traces of the virus that causes COVID-19 in a stool sample of bats that had been removed from a cave in China in 2013, according to an article by Matt Ridley, a member of the British House of Lords and author of several scientific books, Quoted by The Wall Street Journal.

An exciting discovery in a Chinese cave

The team of scientists seemed to collect mostly specimens of bat-type stool very similar to the Rhinolophus affinis bat but with slightly shorter wings, called the Chinese red Rhinolophus affinis bat, as part of scientific research on the origin of the virus responsible for the SARS epidemic that spread between 2002 and 2003. Despite the findings of this research, it was largely ignored.

The scientific team at Chitou Cave, south of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, China, found viruses in bat droppings that resembled the SARS virus in humans in large proportions, especially when compared to any samples collected from young mammals, which had until then been believed to be the source of infection. For humans. Returning to the laboratory, the team of scientists found that a virus from bat litter, called WIV1, could grow and multiply in ape cells and human cells for the future activation of a protein or gene called ACE2. This gene is found on the surface of human cells, and it reduces blood pressure and inflammation, but it also works as a gateway to the cell, which makes the virus enter it easily, which means that people can become infected with the SARS virus directly from bat litter.

Scaly Anteater

In 2016, scientist Ralph Barrick and his colleagues at the University of North Carolina discovered that the same bat virus could infect live test mice, which were genetically engineered to simulate the human gene for ACE2 receptors.

Upon the spread of COVID-19 infection, research was focused on pangolins, which are mammals called scaly anteater. Early analyzes of the virus version in pangolin samples appear to indicate that they were more closely related to the human version than the Rhinolophus affinis bat sample.

Scaly Anteater

It is reported that the illegal trafficking of pangolin for the purposes of traditional Chinese medicine makes many people in contact with sick animals. A little over a year ago, anti-smuggling officers in Guangdong seized 21 live beans from Mali that were on their way to China’s markets. Despite the best efforts of the local wildlife rescue center, 16 of them died due to swelling and swollen lungs as a result of coronavirus.

Infection from 40 years ago

There is no confirmation yet of a role for pangolins in the Corona pandemic. But by taking a closer look at more of the Coronavirus genome, which was published last week by researchers from the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Glasgow, in cooperation with their Chinese and European colleagues, it was found that there was a link between the human version of the virus closely with the horseshoe bat sample, symbolized by RaTG13. It is not yet possible to know whether the virus passed from bats to mammals of Pangolin and from there to humans, or from bats to pangolins and from bats to humans in parallel.

It is also puzzling and surprising, that the same laboratory analyzes revealed that the most recent common ancestor of the human virus, in feces of horseshoe bats, lived for at least 40 years, which means that the first infection was not in the Yunnan Cave about 1,000 miles from Wuhan which The outbreak started. These findings raise doubts and speculation that perhaps there is a place much closer to Wuhan from which the infection was transmitted or that another colony of bats has the same type of virus.

It is reported that bats are sold on the market and directly supplied to restaurants throughout China and Southeast Asia, but there is no direct evidence that they are being sold in the Wuhan market. Horseshoe bats, which are much smaller than other types of bats, are not among the species eaten. The importance of the Jonah Cave specimen is that it shows that the bat virus did not need to re-interact with viruses in other species on the market in order to become contagious to humans.

Most coronavirus appears to originate in bats, including SARS and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome that camels picked from the bats.

Why bats?

The cause of the spread of infection with many viruses from bats is that they are long-lived mammals, such as humans, and live in large congregated groups, which is an ideal environment for spreading respiratory infections in particular. They also fly, and therefore carry diseases over long distances, allowing viruses to switch between bats.

But it is not yet clear why the horseshoe bats were infected with the Coruna virus. However, humankind had previously received warnings with the emergence of the Ebola, Hendra, Nipa, Myers and SARS viruses, so the discovery of the Coronavirus in horseshoe bat litter, which had been raised from the Yunnan Cave in 2013, was supposed to be a high pitched warning.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post