New Covid-like Virus Discovered in Russia

Scientists in the US have warned of a newly discovered virus that is similar to the coronavirus, which causes Covid-19. According to the research, the pathogen circulates in wild bats in Russia and there are fears that it could infect humans.

The news alarmed the scientific community because in laboratory tests, the virus was shown to be resistant to antibodies produced by existing vaccines.


Credit: Gorodenkoff/Istock New Covid-19-like virus discovered

Published in the scientific journal PLoS Pathogens, the study on the virus called Khhosta was led by researchers at Washington State University (WSU), in the United States.

The exact origins of the virus are unclear and are currently being investigated by a team from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Khhosta-1 and Khhost-2 are sarbecoviruses and belong to the same subgenus as coronavirus, so they have many similarities.

In laboratory tests, the researchers observed that Khosta-1 poses a low risk to humans. On the other hand, Khosta-2 demonstrated some worrying characteristics.

The research found that both Khosta-2 and the Covid-19 virus can use the spike protein (Spike) in the cell membrane to infect cells.

“We found that the Khosta-2 virus spike protein could infect cells, such as human pathogens, using the same entry mechanisms, but was resistant to neutralization by the serum of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinated individuals,” the study authors said. .

The researchers also said their findings highlight the importance of developing vaccines that cover a broad spectrum of viruses – not just one strain like Covid-19.

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