Home Acta Virologica 2020 Acta Virologica Vol.64, No.3, p.281-287, 2020

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Founded: 1957
ISSN 0001-723X
E-ISSN 1336-2305

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Acta Virologica Vol.64, No.3, p.281-287, 2020

Title: SARS-CoV-2: Zoonotic origin of pandemic coronavirus
Author: S. Vilcek

Abstract: A novel disease, of unknown origin, causing a deadly pneumonia of human patients was reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei province of China. Later called coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it rapidly spread across China and worldwide. Intensive research revealed that the etiological agent of the global COVID-19 pandemic was a novel coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 genome contains typical coronavirus genes but the receptor binding domain (RBD) in the S protein is highly specific. The site for furin-like protease cleavage of the S protein into S1 and S2 subunits is also unique. Further analyses suggested that SARS-CoV-2 is of zoonotic origin. The analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, especially the S gene, shows that natural evolutionary process between a bat-CoV and a pangolin-CoV or other animal coronavirus could have been important in creating SARS-CoV-2, with transmission of novel virus to the human population. On the other hand, new analyses indicate that SARS-CoV-2 is not a recombinant virus.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; genome; bat coronavirus; pangolin coronavirus
Published online: 20-Jul-2020
Year: 2020, Volume: 64, Issue: 3 Page From: 281, Page To: 287

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