Researchers from China look at how coronaviruses that are similar to MERS-CoV interact with various receptors in different host cells in a new preprint. The paper, which describes the NeoCoV coronavirus but has not yet been peer-reviewed, has been deposited at biorxiv. Let me walk you through what’s all about this NeoCov, Why NeoCov is more dangerous than COVID-19, and what are the facts you need to know from the new type of Coronavirus NeoCov.
CORONAVIRUS – SARS COV 1 – MERS – SARS COV 2 – NEO COV
What is the Coronavirus family?
Coronaviruses are a big viral family that may infect both animals and humans. Alpha, beta, gamma, and delta are the four genera in which they are classified. In general, alpha and beta coronaviruses infect mammals such as bats and humans, but Gamma and Delta coronaviruses mostly infect birds. While mammals, including bats, are typically thought to be coronavirus reservoirs, occasional spillover occurrences may occur. Viruses that infect animals have the potential to spread to people, a process known as zoonotic spillover. Spillover is assumed to be the cause of several important infectious disorders, including COVID-19.
Types of Coronavirus found out So far?
OC43, HKU1, 229E, and NL63, which cause moderate and seasonal infections in humans, as well as SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV, which cause severe disease, have all been found earlier. The coronavirus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic is SARS-CoV-2, which belongs to the beta coronavirus genus and is the 7th type of coronavirus known to infect and cause serious illness in humans. Under which we have alpha, beta, delta, and omicron as mutated variants.
What do we know about MERS-CoV?
The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was discovered in 2012 and was transmitted to humans via zoonosis from infected dromedary camels. MERS-CoV has infected approximately 2000 people worldwide since its discovery, primarily in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. WHO estimates a 35% case fatality rate for MERS, however, this figure might be overestimated since disease surveillance systems may have ignored milder cases of MERS-CoV.
How did Coronavirus hatch in humans so far?
The receptor-binding domain of a coronavirus determines how the virus hooks onto particular receptors on host cells. The distinctions in coronavirus receptor-binding domains define the type of host receptor the virus will use, and hence the host that it will be able to infect. There are now four well-known coronavirus receptors, including ACE2, which is utilized by SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, and DPP4, which is used by MERS-CoV.
What is NeoCov?
NeoCov is a brand-new coronavirus strain that is presently circulating in South Africa. According to reports, the new strain is 80% genomically linked to the Middle East respiratory syndrome MERS-COV. NeoCoV, which was initially discovered in South African bats (Neoromicia) in 2011, has a high mortality and transmission rate.
NeoCov is not a new virus, according to Sputnik, since it was detected in outbreaks in Middle Eastern nations in 2012 and 2015. Let’s see Why NeoCov is more dangerous than COVID-19 down below.
What does the China preprint study say?
Despite their similarities, MERS-CoV and NeoCoV employ distinct receptors to infect cells, according to the study. NeoCoV, a bat coronavirus, was discovered to employ bat ACE2 receptors for effective cell entry, and the interaction between NeoCoV and bat ACE2 receptors differs from that reported in other ACE2-using coronaviruses. Although NeoCoV does not have the ability to use human ACE2 receptors to infect humans, particular mutations produced intentionally in the receptor-binding region of NeoCoV can improve its efficacy in interacting with human ACE2 receptors, according to the preprint. These alterations have yet to be discovered in NeoCov isolates collected from natural environments.
SARS-CoV-2 isn’t the first coronavirus to infect people and create large-scale disease epidemics, and it won’t be the last. Coronaviruses such as NeoCoV or other similar viruses might potentially develop the ability to infect people through additional modification, according to the study. Because of the growing human population and the invasion of animal habitats, human-animal encounters are becoming more common. While spillover occurrences are uncommon, more contact has the ability to speed up such events. To avoid future outbreaks, it will be critical to keeping an eye on this virus family for signs of zoonosis while continuing study into the complicated receptor utilization of distinct coronaviruses. Let’s see Why NeoCov is more dangerous than COVID-19 down below.
Why NeoCov is more dangerous than COVID-19? Is NeoCov a potential new COVID-19 variant?
No. NeoCoV is not a novel coronavirus variant Or SARS-COV-2 varient. So it is not like alpha, beta, delta, and omicron variants of SARS-COV-2. It’s originated from a coronavirus that’s linked to Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers-CoV) in 2011.
NeoCoV is a bat-borne virus related to Mers-CoV. Scientists warned that if NeoCoV is passed from bats to humans (zoonotic spillover), it might create issues, according to research released this week. It has the potential to combine MERS-CoV’s high fatality rate (one in every three infected persons dies on average) with the present SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus’s high transmission rate. Antibodies and protein molecules generated by persons with respiratory disorders cannot cure NeoCoV. NeoCoV has not yet infected people and so has not resulted in any deaths.
FAQs about NeoCov
Will Neocov spread to humans?
Only one mutation is necessary for the virus to transmit from bats to humans and penetrate human cells, according to researchers from Wuhan University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Biophysics.
Omicron is a SAR-COV-2 Coronavirus variant that arose in 2021, whereas NEOCOV is a MERS-COV coronavirus variant that became widespread in eastern nations in 2012.
How severe is the NeoCov COVID-19 variant?
NeoCov is a virus linked to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
According to the researchers, NeoCoV has the potential to combine the high death rate of MERS-CoV (one in every three infected persons dies on average) with the high transmission rate of the present SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
What vaccine is effective against the NeoCov COVID-19 variant?
A vaccine produced from a particular antigen can, in general, be effective against that antigen. Omicron, on the other hand, traveled throughout the world with fully vaccinated persons, demonstrating that the coronavirus vaccine’s efficacy is nearly nonexistent.
As a result, our COVID-19 vaccines are only effective against the alpha, beta, and delta SARS-COV-2 strains. If a new coronavirus has evolved and infects humans in any way, we should develop a vaccine for that mutated antigen. We don’t know what antigen we’ll use to make a vaccine since NeoCov is carried by bats and no cases in humans yet. So no NeoCov vaccines have been developed.
These are things you need to know and I hope i clearly explained your doubts Let’s see Why NeoCov is more dangerous than COVID-19. Tell me your thoughts in the comments section.
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An aspiring medical student from southern India