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Altro coronavirus, nuovo virus simile al Covid trovato in Thailandia nei pipistrelli

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altro-coronavirus-pipistrelli-thailandia
altro-coronavirus-pipistrelli-thailandia

Altro coronavirus – L’ultima scoperta di un altro nuovo coronavirus, simile al Covid, isolato nei pipistrelli in Thailandia. Le ultime notizie dal mondo aggiornate in tempo reale tutte le ultime news 24 ore su 24 ogni giorno.

È stato scoperto un altro coronavirus legato a quello che causa la pandemia globale. È stato isolato nel sangue di cinque pipistrelli che vivono in Thailandia.

Il SARS-CoV-2, il virus che causa il Covid-19, condivide il 91,5% del suo codice genetico con quello di questo virus appena identificato, chiamato RacCS203.

Si pensa che il virus non sia in grado di infettare le persone perché non può legarsi al recettore ACE2 sulle cellule umane, la porta d’ingresso del Covid-19 nel corpo. Tuttavia, gli anticorpi che circolano nel sangue di pipistrelli e pangolini infetti sono risultati efficaci nel neutralizzare il virus SARS-CoV-2. L’area dove vivono questi pipistrelli è molto estesa: comprende Giappone, Cina e Thailandia, hanno detto i ricercatori in un rapporto pubblicato su Nature.

Gli esperti ipotizzano che i coronavirus a base di pipistrelli non possano infettare gli esseri umani. Gli autori di questo studio pensano invece che i coronavirus evolvano la capacità di infettare le cellule umane solo dopo essere passati in un ospite intermedio, come un pangolino. Qui, muta e cambia leggermente la forma. Questi risultati si allineano con l’annuncio di ieri dell’Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità che la pandemia è probabilmente emersa naturalmente e il coronavirus non è stato rilasciato da un laboratorio.

Altro coronavirus, il RacCS203

I ricercatori guidati dalla Chulalongkorn University di Bangkok hanno preso campioni di pipistrelli nella Thailandia orientale. Hanno condotto il sequenziamento genomico sul nuovo virus per scoprire quanto fosse strettamente legato ad altri coronavirus, tra cui SARS-CoV-2. Il parente più prossimo del nuovo virus si chiama RmYN02, un virus che è identico al 93,6 per cento al SARS-CoV-2. Geneticamente simile (91,5 per cento identico) al SARS-CoV-2 è anche il RacCS203,  il nuovo virus.

In precedenza, virus simili erano stati trovati solo in Cina e Giappone. Ma la presenza di questo ceppo in Thailandia indica che ce ne sono molti di più di quanto si credesse in precedenza. Probabilmente diffusi su un raggio di 3.000 miglia attraverso il sud-est asiatico.  

La preoccupazione riguarda la capacità dei coronavirus di muoversi tra diversi mammiferi, per esempio gatti, cani e visoni. Spostandosi tra le specie, il virus può mutare ed evolvere in un nuovo patogeno, il che potrebbe spiegare come è emerso il Covid-19. Il dottor Thiravat Hemachudha della Chulalongkorn University di Bangkok, Thailandia, faceva parte del team di ricercatori internazionali. I virus trovati nei pipistrelli in Thailandia e Cina agiscono come «un modello perfetto che può ricombinarsi con altri e alla fine evolvere come nuovi patogeni emergenti, come il virus Covid-19», ha detto.

Commentando, il Prof Martin Hibberd della London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, ha detto che i risultati hanno evidenziato l’ampia distribuzione di pipistrelli e virus che possono includere l’originatore dell’attuale epidemia. «È necessario un ulteriore lavoro. Questo per capire come la Sars-CoV-2 sia passata dagli animali agli esseri umani, con i recenti investigatori dell’OMS a Wuhan che mostrano che, per ora, queste non sono prove conclusive di come ciò sia accaduto», ha detto.

oms-in-cina-pangolino-possibile-origine-del-covid
oms-in-cina-pangolino-possibile-origine-del-covid

Fonte: Il Messaggero

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