Coronavirus has been the trending topic going around these days. While the Outbreak has been prevalent in China, it is more or less spreading to other countries. In a new genetic study, the Snakes are found to the primary source of the Outbreak. Also, the Wuhan in China is found to be the location where the Outbreak took place. The Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan is the place that sells many of the exotic animals. Among them, some snakes are also being sold in the market. It is found that many of the initial subjects (people) become ill after their visit to the Wuhan market. The research study is published in the Journal of Medical Virology.
Highlights of the Coronavirus Genetic Study
The World Health Organisation has named the new Coronavirus outbreak as 2019-nCoV. Researchers found that the new 2019-nCoV is the result of the recombination of two Coronavirus, one that infects bats and another unknown origin. In the study, the researchers analysed the genetic sequence of the new 2019-nCoV. They then compared it with the genetic sequence of 200 hundred other Coronavirus infecting other animals. They looked for the patterns of the genetic code in the virus that infects the host cells. Based on the analysis, the origin of the 2019-nCoV is traced to snakes. As a result, there is a change in one of the viral proteins, and hence virus is able to bind to receptors on other host cells. This change in receptor protein ought to be the main reason for the cross-species transmission from snakes to humans.
However, more research needs to be carried out to confirm the findings. The market in Wuhan currently stays closed; it is quite a challenge to home in any source animals for further study. Also, it remains to be seen how the virus has been able to adapt between cold-blooded and warm-blooded hosts.