Coronavirus Origin: Coronavirus was Not Escaped from Wuhan Lab

The coronavirus was not escaped from Wuhan Lab.

COVID19 or novel coronavirus origin source has come across different misled information. Till now, the epidemic has infected more than 440000 lives with more than 19000 deaths. People are experiencing symptoms of novel coronavirus so rapidly. Recently, the WHO expressed concern about the effect of coronavirus in the USA.

Since the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan city, the question about the source of coronavirus stays unanswered. Still, WHO preventive measures to prevent deadly coronavirus transmission are being followed by state departments.

 According to the New England Journal of Medicine,

“implicates a bat-origin virus infecting unidentified animal species sold in China’s live-animal markets.”

There also have been claims about COVID19 or Coronavirus that it was developed by scientists and escaped from Wuhan lab, China. The long persistent myth outbursts with a recent study.

A new observation by the group of researchers clears the situation comprehensively about the origin of the COVID19.

The researchers made a comparison between the genome of the novel coronavirus with other coronaviruses known for infecting humans; SARS, MERS, SARS-CoV-2, HKU1, 229E, NL63, and OC43. SARS, MERS, and SARS-CoV-2 can be causing severe diseases while others cause mild symptoms.

The researchers embedded their conclusion in the journal Nature Medicine, “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”

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Kristian Andersen, with his colleagues, observed the genetic template for the crown-like spike proteins protruding from their surface. Kristian Andersen is an associate professor of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research.

The coronavirus uses the crown-like spikes for grabbing the outer walls of the host’s cells and entering those cells. The team notably observed the gene sequence. These are responsible for the functionality of spike proteins.

The gene sequencing comprising the 2 prime features:

Grabber: Responsible for hooking onto host cells, also known as the receptor-binding domain

Cleavage site: Allowing the virus for opening and entering into those cells.

What does analysis tell about coronavirus source of origin in Wuhan, China?

The analysis shows, the spike’s ” hook” had developed to target ACE2, the receptor attached to the outer surface of human cells. ACE 2 is involved in the regulation of cardiovascular functions and blood pressure.

Researchers observed that these crown-like spike proteins were not the result of genetic engineering, rather developed naturally.

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is expected to be primarily related to the SARS-CoV-2.

But the scientists have emboldened the facts differentiating the SARS-CoV-2 from SARS.

The major difference is lightened up with changes in several key letters in the genetic code.

The computer simulations show that the mutations in SARS-CoV-2 do not function well in helping that virus in binding to human cells.

Six RBD (Receptor-Binding Domain) amino acids have shown a critical variable in binding to ACE 2 receptors as well as in determining SARS-CoV-like viruses’ host range. But 5 of these 6 residues are not the same between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.

The study shows that high interaction spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 to ACE2 in the human body is most likely due to natural selection on an ACE2. It is a piece of strong evidence proving that SARS-CoV-2 is not purposefully manipulated product of the lab.

The way of virus’ mutation was much better than scientists could ever have developed. All that came naturally not deliberately engineered.

COVID 19’s overall molecular structure is far different from other known coronaviruses. Rather, it is more closely resembles the viruses found in pangolins and bats. These viruses were not studied and no study suggesting any harm to humans.

According to the Josie Golding ‘s statement from Scripps research,

The findings by Kristian Andersen and his colleagues are crucially important in bringing an evidence-based fact to the rumors circulating about the source of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19.

Golding further adds, “They conclude that the virus is the product of natural evolution ending any speculation about deliberate genetic engineering.
Josie Golding is Ph.D., epidemics lead at UK-based Wellcome Trust.

So, Where did the novel coronavirus come from?

Wuhan city came into headlines as origin city for the coronavirus origin after Dec 2019.

The researchers concluded with an analysis, that origin for COVID19 followed any one of the two scenarios.

In one possible scenario, the Coronavirus developed to pathogenic state in a non-human host through natural selection and then it jumped to humans.

It has been similar to the previous coronavirus outbreaks where the virus was contracted to humans after direct exposures to camels and civets.

Here, SARS-CoV-2 is quite similar to the bat coronavirus. It induces the researchers to propose bats a likely reservoir of the virus.

Yet, there have been no documented cases related to direct bat-human virus transmission. It indicates the role of an intermediate host involved in transmission between humans and bats.

In the second scenario, the virus’s non-pathogenic version jumped into humans from an animal host. Then it developed to the current pathogenic condition in the human population. For example, the presence of RBD in pangolins is very similar to SARS-CoV-2.

A coronavirus from pangolins could have been directly or by an intermediary host transmitted to a human.

Some researches suggested Pangolins as a carrier after the origin of coronavirus. Other coronaviruses causing diseases to humans due to direct exposure to animals like camels.

Meanwhile, U.S. researchers came up with the first-ever testing of an experimental vaccine for coronavirus on Monday. It leads off a global hunt for developing coronavirus vaccine.

Source: The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2,

Andersen, K.G., Rambaut, A., Lipkin, W.I. et al. The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2. Nat Med (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0820-9

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