The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly shaken the entire planet and made the scientific community more alert about possible new threats. As a result, laboratories have begun to intensify research on pathogens with the potential to cause problems. And in this way they found the Khosta-2a virus similar to SARS-CoV-2the cause of Covid-19.
The discovery gained a tone of concern because, according to scientists, the new virus can infect humans. After all, Khosta-1, registered in 2020, did not generate major concerns, precisely because it did not show the potential to infect humans. Contrary to what recent tests with Khosta-2 revealed.
Understand what is Khosta-2
The virus, which is in the same subcategory as the coronavirus, was first found in bats in Russia. Like the pathogen that causes Covid-19, it is a zoonosis, that is, a disease that initially circulates among animals. Another factor that, according to scientists, is worrying, is that the current vaccines against Sars-CoV-2 have not shown efficiency against Khosta-2. Therefore, if the virus really spreads among humans, it will be necessary to develop a new immunizer.
“We don’t want to scare anyone and say that this is a completely vaccine-resistant virus. But it is worrying that there are viruses circulating in nature that have these properties. That they can bind to human receptors and are not so neutralized by current vaccine responses.” “, explained virologist Michael Letko, responsible for the study, in an interview with Time magazine.
The discovery about the risks of Khosta-2 was made by scientists at the Paul G. Allen School for Global Health, at Washington State University, in the United States. And the research results published in the scientific journal PLoS Pathogens.
Virus recombination is something to worry about
Another factor that can generate a series of problems is the chance that Khosta-2 can fuse with another virus, such as Sars-CoV-2, and generate a new pathogen dangerous to human health.
“When you see that Sars-CoV-2 has this ability to spread back from humans to wildlife (as in the case of contamination of other animals with Covid-19), and that there are other viruses like Khosta- 2 waiting in these animals with these properties that we really don’t want them to have, this sets up a scenario where the die keeps rolling until they combine to create a potentially riskier virus,” Letko told Time.
Source: Time magazine.
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