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New research: snakes are mediators of Wuhan pneumonia

Based on the article published in The Conversation by three researchers Haitao Guo, Guangxiang “George” Luo and Shou-Jiang Gao

The snake, or more specifically the Chinese cobras and the Chinese scorpion, is believed to be the vector for corona virus transmission from Wuhan City, China. Until now, there is no cure for the deadly infectious disease that attacks the respiratory system.

New research snakes are mediators of Wuhan pneumonia | Explore

Chinese scorpion.

The first time the virus was discovered was in Wuhan City in December 2019. Since that time, many countries have confirmed the existence of a person infected with the virus in the territory of the country, including Vietnam.

In the evening of January 22, the Ho Chi Minh City government isolated two patients infected with coronavirus at Cho Ray Hospital; Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Sang, Department of Tropical Diseases, said Mr. Li Ding from Wuhan City (where the epidemic started) arrived in Hanoi on January 13, then moved to Nha Trang. His son from Long An 4 months ago, went to Nha Trang to meet his father, then continued to go to Ho Chi Minh City and Long An. On January 17, Dad started to have a fever and on January 20, he had similar symptoms.

The first steps in identifying the pathogen

Using a virus sample taken from a patient, Chinese scientists identified the virus’s genetic code and used a microscope to obtain an image of them. The pathogen is a new strain of corona virus, a family of two respiratory viruses SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, which killed hundreds of people over the past 17 years.

The World Health Organization names the new strain of corona virus as 2019-nCoV.

New research snakes are mediators of Wuhan pneumonia | Explore

Both SARS and MERS are zoonotic pathogens, and patient zero – patient zero, the first person to carry the germ was directly infected from animals. Research shows that the virus origin comes from bats, and civets and camels are the intermediaries for pathogens to travel from bats to humans.

In the case of 2019-nCoV, initial reports show that the first group of hospitalized patients are employees and customers at a seafood market that sells a variety of other goods, including processed meat and a variety of live animals such as poultry, donkeys, sheep, pigs, camels, foxes, badgers, ridges, porcupines and many reptiles. Because previous studies have indicated that corona virus does not occur in aquatic species, it is likely that 2019-nCoV will come from a species of land animal displayed at the market.

New research snakes are mediators of Wuhan pneumonia | Explore

The market sells seafood and many other animals.

In the new study published in the Medical Journal of Virology, the researchers present more compelling evidence to support the hypothesis that 2019-nCoV comes from animals. To reach this conclusion, the scientists analyzed and compared the genes of 2019-nCoV with other corona-like viruses.

The study found that the genetic code for the new virus spread to humans is closely related to two corona-like virus SARS-like forms of bats; The virus samples to be compared also originated from China. Further, the scientists found that the protein surrounding 2019-nCoV – which makes the viral “crown” (in Latin, “corona” means “crown, halo”) – realized receptor of the host cell, which means that the virus on the bat mutated before it spread to humans.

But when we analyzed the detailed bioinformatics of the 2019-nCoV gene sequence, it was found that this corona virus could be transmitted through snakes.

New research snakes are mediators of Wuhan pneumonia | Explore

This is MERS-CoV from the bat, and the same corona family as the 2019-nCoV virus.

The researchers used a protein-coding method that was more suitable for 2019-nCoV, compared to the protein codes of other host viruses like birds, snakes, macros, porcupines, porcupines, bats and bats. people. Surprisingly, they discovered that the new virus’s protein sequence has many similarities to the corona virus on the snake.

In the wild, snakes often hunt bats. Scientific reports indicate that snakes also have eyes in the market (now closed) in Wuhan; so the possibility of 2019-nCoV from snakes has increased, most likely in this outbreak, snakes are the intermediaries to bring 2019-nCoV from bats to humans.

However, researchers still do not know this is the correct conclusion, because they do not know how 2019-nCoV can survive on both warm-blooded and cold-blooded animals.

The authors of the study and many other scientists could only identify the source of the new deadly virus through laboratory tests. The first thing to do when you have this hypothesis is to look for traces of 2019-nCoV on snakes, however, because the animal market has been closed, it’s hard for scientists to track the virus.

The most important thing now is to find the exact source of the evil virus, the first sources must be snakes sold at the market, then gradually seek out the words snake and bat in the wild. This is an important step in understanding and preventing the virus from spreading as well as in future treatment.

And this is also a cautionary lesson for us, that you should eat less wild meat to prevent the virus from spreading from wildlife to humans.

[ Æsir Tales ]
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