Homologous #Recombination Within the #Spike Glycoprotein of the Newly Identified #Coronavirus May Boost Cross-Species #Transmission From Snake to Human (J Med Virol., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

J Med Virol  /  2020 Jan 22 [Online ahead of print]

Homologous Recombination Within the Spike Glycoprotein of the Newly Identified Coronavirus May Boost Cross-Species Transmission From Snake to Human

Wei Ji 1, Wei Wang 2, Xiaofang Zhao 3, Junjie Zai 4, Xingguang Li 5

Affiliations: 1 Department of Microbiology, Peking University Health Science Center School of Basic Medical Sciences, Beijing, China. 2 Department of Spleen and Stomach Diseases, The First affiliated Hospital of Guangxi university of Chinese Medicine, Nanning, 530023, China. 3 Department of Science and Technology, Ruikang Hospital Affiliated to Guangxi University of Chinese Medicine, Nanning, 530011, China. 4 Immunology innovation team, School of Medicine, Ningbo University, Ningbo, 315211, China. 5 Hubei Engineering Research Center of Viral Vector, Wuhan University of Bioengineering, Wuhan, 430415, China.

PMID: 31967321 DOI: 10.1002/jmv.25682



The current outbreak of viral pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, China, was caused by a novel coronavirus designated 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization, as determined by sequencing the viral RNA genome. Many patients were potentially exposed to wildlife animals at the Huanan seafood wholesale market, where poultry, snake, bats, and other farm animals were also sold. To determine the possible virus reservoir, we have carried out comprehensive sequence analysis and comparison in conjunction with relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU) bias among different animal species based on existing sequences of the newly identified coronavirus 2019-nCoV. Results obtained from our analyses suggest that the 2019-nCoV appears to be a recombinant virus between the bat coronavirus and an origin-unknown coronavirus. The recombination occurred within the viral spike glycoprotein, which recognizes cell surface receptor. Additionally, our findings suggest that snake is the most probable wildlife animal reservoir for the 2019-nCoV based on its RSCU bias resembling snake compared to other animals. Taken together, our results suggest that homologous recombination within the spike glycoprotein may contribute to cross-species transmission from snake to humans.

Keywords: 2019-nCoV; RSCU; cross-species transmission; phylogenetic analysis; recombination.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Coronavirus; Bats; 2019-nCoV.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.