Hundreds of mammalian species can act as incubators for coronaviruses to mix and match with each other, forming new viruses and stimulating the future Pandemic, New research predicts. These species include not only wild animals such as bats and monkeys, but also livestock such as pigs and cats.
A study published in the journal on February 16 Nature CommunicationsEmphasize the possibility of Coronavirus Infects various hosts. In fact, the study has identified hundreds of animal species that can be infected with known coronaviruses, but many of these infections have not yet been observed in the wild.
Coronaviruses make up a large family of viruses that can infect both birds and mammals. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is only one member of the coronavirus family. For research, the team extracted 411 coronavirus gene sequences from GenBank, a database of the National Institutes of Health, and screened these sequences using computer algorithms. The sequence represented 92 different species of coronavirus, some of which were represented by multiple strains of virus.
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On average, the algorithm predicted that each virus had more than 12 mammalian hosts. Each screened animal species was predicted to be a potential host of five or more coronaviruses on average.
Animals that can host many coronaviruses pose the greatest threat. When multiple coronavirus strains invade the same cell, they can be mixed and matched while replicating their genes, creating new patchwork. Virus..
this genetically The authors write that card shuffle, known as “recombination,” can be particularly dangerous if SARS-CoV-2 exchanges genes with another coronavirus. This is because the resulting virus can infect humans as much as SARS-CoV-2, but can probably invade additional tissues and cause more serious illness. .. The model identified 126 non-human species that could host SARS-CoV-2 and at least one other coronavirus. This can lead to this nasty scenario.
“More surprising than individual animals was a wide range of animals that were predicted to be hosts for a large number of coronaviruses,” wrote data scientist Maya Wardeh and virologist Marcus Flagrove at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. I will. Joint statement to live science. “Everyone knows it Bat Importantly, many high-risk hosts have been found throughout mammals, including rodents and primates. [and] Ungulate. “
However, just because two coronaviruses can invade the same animal does not mean that they can and do not rejoin, he was not involved in the study at McMaster University, Ontario. Arinjay Banerjee said. Recombination, among other logistics, requires the virus to enter the same cell type and the infection to peak at the same time, he said. However, he said the new study provides a convenient list of mammalian species to be monitored for future coronavirus infections and recombination events.
Network of potential infections
To predict which mammals are likely to be hosts of the coronavirus, the authors Computer algorithm It mapped the connection between a potential host and a known coronavirus. The algorithm analyzed known coronaviruses and examined animals known to infect them. We then looked at other animals that are closely related, live in similar habitats, or eat the same type of diet. These animals are suspected of having a similar coronavirus population. The algorithm also compared the genomic sequences of different coronaviruses, with the belief that closely related coronaviruses are likely to infect similar hosts.
After finding these connections, the algorithm identified which mammals potentially carry a large amount of coronavirus and therefore could be a breeding ground for coronavirus recombination.
The team used this algorithm to screen 876 mammalian species, including 185 known coronavirus hosts. The remaining 691 species belonged to the same genus as the known host.The algorithm tested a potential link between these animals and the complete 411 coronavirus. RNA The sequence is already known.
“These 411 viruses include all seven coronaviruses known to infect humans and the full range of other coronaviruses whose genomes have been sequenced,” the authors said. I am.
All strains of SARS-CoV-2 sequenced were included in the analysis, but were treated as a single entity in the analysis. “The SARS-CoV-2 mutants are all very similar and have relatively small mutations. It is unlikely that the results of host specificity will differ significantly between them,” the authors told Live Science. It was.
Of the 126 species identified as potential hosts for SARS-CoV-2, some animals stood out as having the highest risk of recombination. Some of these animals have already been flagged as potential recombinant hosts for SARS-CoV-2 and the associated virus SARS-CoV that caused the development of severe acute respiratory syndrome in the early 2000s.
For example, Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) Was a predictive host of 32 coronaviruses in addition to SARS-CoV-2. Greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) And a horseshoe-shaped bat in the middle (Rhinolophus affinis) Predictive hosts for 67 and 44 additional coronaviruses, respectively, Pangolin (((Manis Javanica) In case of 14.
In addition to these suspicious hosts, the model highlighted wildlife that had not previously been associated with SARS-CoV-2 recombination. These include the few yellow bats in Asia (Scotophilus kuhlii), Chimpanzee (Chimpanzee) And African Green Monkey (((Chlorocebus aethiops). Common hedgehogs (Erinaceuseuropaeus),Europe Rabbit (((Oryctolagus cuniculus) And a domestic cat (Cat cat) Is also likely to be a host of coinfection and recombination, the model predicted.
However, “the most prominent results of SARS-CoV-2 recombinant hosts are domestic. Pig (((boar) ”, The authors write that they were predicted to carry 121 coronaviruses in addition to SARS-CoV-2.
“Given the high number of coronaviruses that our framework predicts can infect pigs, it is advisable to monitor” high-risk “pigs. [living conditions]”The authors told Live Science. For example, pigs kept close to other high-risk livestock are considered high-risk, and pigs isolated from other animals are relatively low-risk, they said.
High risk scenario
The study also identified 102 potential species that could be co-infected with SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV, the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Case fatality rate of MERS is much higher than COVID-19, estimates are About 35%As a result, recombination of these two viruses is extremely dangerous, and the resulting virus is highly contagious and is likely to cause serious illness, the authors say.
The model also predicted interactions that may be completely free of SARS-CoV-2. The team discovered that many genetically diverse coronaviruses may be able to mix and exchange their RNA. For example, 291 mammalian species were predicted hosts of coronavirus from four or more different subgenus, subgenus and above taxonomic subcategories.
However, coronaviruses of the same subgenus are more likely to recombine than viruses of different subgenuses, Banersey said. “I don’t know if different subgenuses will be recombined. It’s unlikely, but not experimentally proven,” he said.
Domesticated pigs, fewer Asian yellow bats, and larger, intermediate bats were all harvested as potential hosts for these recombinant events, but additional species also appeared on the high-risk list. I did.In particular, this included dromedary Camel (((Camel dromedary), A known coronavirus host and a major human transmitter of MERS-CoV.
In the future, the authors of the study plan to develop a similar model of birds to see which birds may be responsible for coronavirus recombination. Known avian coronavirus hosts include turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) And guinea fowlNumi Damere Grease), Above all, according to the 2005 report Bird pathology.. After collecting data on birds, the team wants to model how often potential coronavirus hosts throughout the animal kingdom come into contact with each other.
“This allows us to estimate where the host species is most endangered within the geographic range, and thus more specifically to both” what and where “.” The authors stated. In addition, they will incorporate clinically relevant data into their predictions to determine which viruses are known to cause disease in humans and what symptoms they cause.
At present, the potential for recombination in different species, as well as the risk that these theoretical mashups will make people sick, is uncertain, Banerjee said.However, “My take-out from this manuscript is [to] Extend surveillance to reservoirs that may not have been fully studied and evaluated for potential coronavirus reservoirs. ”
Such early identification of potential hosts of coronavirus may help scientists develop targeted surveillance programs to capture recombination “when it is happening and before an outbreak.” The author wrote that it could not be. In the event of an outbreak, scientists can easily refer to records of coronavirus found in high-risk animals to identify new pathogens, Banersey said.
Originally published in Live Science.
Hundreds of animal species can carry the new coronavirus
https://www.livescience.com/mammal-species-next-coronavirus.html Hundreds of animal species can carry the new coronavirus