Despite numerous studies, the origin of the coronavirus remains a complete mystery to scientists. Now a team of experts has determined that the new Covid-19 shares almost 97% of its genome with a coronavirus that infects bats. The research results estimate that SARS-CoV-2 could have been circulating among these animals for up to 70 years.
The authors of the research point out that this is a very long period of time, indicating that there could be more Viral lineages in bats with potential to infect humans.
Furthermore, they are viruses with a very high capacity to exchange genetic material between them, which means that it will be very difficult identify viruses that will cause relevant outbreaks in humans before they emerge.
This new study neither confirms nor rules out that the pangolin it will act as an intermediary between bats and humans. The authors clarify that the current evidence indicates that the evolution of the virus in bats may have given rise to different variants, capable of replicating in the upper respiratory tract of both pangolin and humans.
Maciej F. Boni, researcher at the Pennsylvania State University, United States, clarifies that the most probable scenario is that the SARS-CoV-2 that it has jumped to humans comes from a population of bats in the Chinese province of Yunnan, in the southeast of the country.
How did coronavirus arise?
More and more experts reject the theory that the coronavirus It was artificially created in a laboratory. Nor do they consider it to be a “leak” because if they were, the first infected would have been the center employees and their direct contacts.
About when he jumped to humans, Boni considers it was in november 2019 as probable date.