Omicron Covid variant may have originated in animals, study finds

Omicron Covid variant may have originated in animals, study finds

omicron According to a study, a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can spread from animal species to humans.

The research, recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides new insights into the evolutionary origins of omicrons.

An essential step in coronavirus infection occurs when the spike protein, which helps the virus infect cells, binds to the host’s receptor.

After establishing a persistent infection in the host, the spike protein adapts to the host’s receptor.

The researchers performed a detailed structural biology analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant.

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They identified several mutations in the oomicron spike protein that were uniquely adapted to the mouse receptor and incompatible with the human receptor.

This suggests that the Omicron variant may not have originated directly from humans, and instead may have been transmitted to humans from other animal species, according to the researchers.

“These oomicron mutations are evolutionary marks left by the virus during transmission from one animal species to another,” said study lead author Fang Li from the University of Minnesota in the US.

“Our detailed structural biology approach has successfully recovered these subtle but unique evolutionary traces,” Lee said.

The researchers noted that the COVID-19 virus is capable of infecting many animal species – which is one of the main reasons why variants continue to emerge.

These findings also suggest that epidemiological surveillance of rodents may be important to prevent new COVID-19 variants from emerging in the future, he said.

“Coronavirus transmission from animals to humans will continue to be a global health threat. It has been suggested that all coronaviruses transmitted to humans have come from animals,” Lee said.

“I am working with my colleagues to address the current and potential future coronavirus pandemics by developing therapeutics targeted to both human coronaviruses and animal coronaviruses,” the scientist said.

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