A Scientific definition of the origin of Covid-19 virus

Most severe pandemic in recent history

Nowadays, the most popular topic everybody talking about is the corona outbreak. But still, no one knows facts about the origin of Covid-19 virus. Most scientists started preliminary researches when the beginning of the corona outbreak. According to those researches, Virologists said that there might have a link between the virus and bats or snakes. Within the past several months, there have been circulating so many rumors through the media. Among those rumors, the most popular one and some agents attempted under state agendas to publish was this virus is a biological weapon, and it is a laboratory product. Howsoever whether it has been created willfully or not, it has leaked to society, and it is spreading all over the world. But someone says that it was not produced in a laboratory.

When a virus is transmitted from animal to human, it is called zoonotic transmission. Their point of view is in the Corona incident; zoonotic transmission has happened very efficiently than before. This process has based on the high rate of mutations in the virus. They have concluded that there were some virus diseases among Chinese people caused by previously emerged viruses of the Coronaviridae family. Those viruses have emerged from the wild animal’s meat, which have had consumed by the Chinese people. Due to this abnormal food style, viruses with mutant genes can quickly enter into the human body. Therefore Chinese people are one of the most susceptible to the infect of new viruses. However, the Chinese government has restricted people from eating wild animals after the corona outbreak. It is the right decision not only for human health but also protection of wild animal.

Corona virus structure- Image source

Origin of COVID-19 virus is not inside of a laboratory

After different types of research, there are so many research papers that are being published these days. The common feature of this researches is that this covid-19 virus is not a laboratory-produced. There are some scientifically identified reasons to say like that.

If this virus’s genes belong to the Coronaviridae family, the real name of this virus is not the Coronavirus. This virus is called as COVID-19 / HCoV-19. According to the recently updated research papers, this virus also named as SARS-CoV-2. This COVID-19 virus is the seventh Coronaviridae virus that has transmitted to human beings. The HCoV-19 type severe viruses came even in the past, such as SARS-CoV, MERS–CoV. However, other Coronaviridae family viruses like HKU1, NL63, OC43, 229E are not harmful as this currently emerged covid-19 virus. They could have healed after occurring a mild fever a few days.

Technical facts of the origin of Covid-19 virus

Now we turned into technical facts about this outbreak and virus origin. When considering this SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genomic structure, we can observe that virus can efficiently connect with the ACE2 receptor. ACE2 is an enzyme (Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) in the human body. This enzyme exist in the cells associated with the respiratory system and the small intestine. This enzyme acts as a catalyst to transform the Angiotensin ii peptide into the Angiotensin 1-7 heptapeptide. Angiotensin 1-7 contributes to broadening the blood vessels in our bodies. The ACE2 enzyme can be seen on the surface of the body cells. As previously mentioned, which has the ability to attract and bind the COVID-19 virus into the cells. Therefore ACE2 enzyme act as a door to the COVID-19 virus.

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The receptor-binding domain (RBD) is the essential structural component of the virus. It implements significant tasks in the viruses. (Which appeared in the picture below). The RBD part of the virus binds with the receptor (ACE2 enzyme) of the target cell. Then why some Virologists not considered as SARS- COV-2 is a laboratory-produced virus?

origin of Covid-19 virus
Virus bind to the target cell hrough RBD- Image source

If produced in a laboratory, it must be made from a genome base of the previously emerged Coronoviridae family virus. But Virologists prove that it will not happen because RBD part of the SARS -COV-2 virus is efficiently and uniquely bind with the ACE2.  

Then how did this happen? There are two hypotheses for this matter

1. Before infecting the human being, this may evolved in an animal’s body and then infects humans

The first infection appeared in the Hunan market in Wuhan, China. Hunan market is considered as the origin of COVID-19 virus. Therefore there were assumes which COVIS-19 is coming from these wild animal’s meat selling markets. When considering the genomic structure of the viruses, SARS-COV-2 virus is genetically very similar to the SARS-CoV virus, which infect to the bats. There is another virus that can found among Rhinolophus affinis species of Bats called RaTG13 as well. That virus has a 96% similarity to the SARS-COV-2 virus. But RBD part of the RaTG13 virus shows some differences with comparing RBD part of COVID-19. Therefore there are some weaknesses of the efficiency of RaTG13 virus when combining with the acceptance of the ACE2 enzyme. 

Rhinolophus affinis Bat species Source – THOMSON/SCIENCE SOURCE

Malayan anteater (Manis javanica) is an animal that transports illegally to the Guangdong region for the meat. There is a virus in this species which is very close to the SARS-COV-2 virus. However, these viruses have not close similarities to RaTG13 virus of bats. However, a special thing is there are some RBD parts of these viruses similar to the RBD regions of the SARS-COV-2 than RBD parts of RaTG13.

According to this hypothesis, there may have mutations in the previous versions of the SARS-COV-2 virus. There is a high probability of happening within a high-density population and gradually underwent natural selection. Bats are one of the high-density population species. Bats preferred to live in dark and covered places like a cave as colonies. Because of that primary host of this SARS-COV-2 virus, most of the time maybe this Bat species.

2. After transmitting the primary stage of this virus from animal to human and then undergoing natural selection

According to this hypothesis, zoonotic transmission happened in the primary stage of the SARS-COV-2 virus into the human body. When it spread from Human to Human, previously mentioned structural characteristics might obtained through natural selection. All types of previously mentioned Coronoviridae viruses are coming from a common ancestor. The Malayan anteater species contain a virus with the RBD component similar to SARS-COV-2. Therefore we can easily predict that the precursor of SARS-COV-2 has transmitted to the human being may have had that type of RBD part.

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MERS-CoV structure- Image Source

What is the importance of this type of researches related corona pandemic and origin of Covid-19 virus?

If the SARS-COV-2 virus has transmitted to the human beings after the evolving with mutations of the virus-like RaTG13, which is in bat species, it is dangerous. Because deadly viruses that are showing different characteristics than these viruses also can be transmitted through this pathway. Otherwise, there is a possibility to even the SARS-COV-2 virus again can come in another way after undergoing some mutations. Studying those type of cases are essential for preventing the risks can be occurred in the future. Therefore studies of origin of COVID-19 virus will also help for finding the other types of deadly viruses which will emerge in the future.

Natural selection, mutations occurred in genes and progression of advantageous mutations with evolution. This is what you see as the phenomenon of live evolution.

Malayan anteater (Manis javanica) Photo by- Khaikho

When will coronavirus end

From our point of view, nobody can predict the exact date when COVID-19 virus will end. However, World Health Organization (WHO) predicted that virus will last about another two years in the world. The spreading rate of this virus is relatively very high among the humans. As you know, it distributed in almost all countries just after the six months of emerging. The first infect person found in Wuhan at November in 2019. However in the April 2020, it have had spread almost all countries.

Imagine if a super medicine introduced for curing COVID-19 and it can heal all the infected persons, it will take significant time to deliver around the world. And also even if a single virus survive on the non-living surface and contact with a human body, it will spread again rapidly. Recent research revealed that COVID-19 virus could survive on the digital LCD screen for eighteen days. That is not good news since everybody uses digital equipment these days. Because it can live inside a human body more than two weeks without showing any symptoms to the outside.

The other thing is with it’s relatively elevated mutational rate, it may product new versions of viruses. Mutations will assist virus for structural adaptation and behavioral adaptation which may resistant for the curing agent. Therefore the best thing is maintain the social distance when dealing with the community. As well as wearing mask and follow the sanitary guidelines issued by WHO.

Finally, we hope that all of you who read this article will follow the proper instructions to protect yourself from this pandemic and fulfill your civic responsibility. Let’s eliminate the Corona from the Earth.

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