Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shandong University conducted a study on the evolutionary origin of SARS-CoV-2 and discovered 24 new species of coronavirus in bats.
The experts studied saliva and food samples from 342 bats collected between May 2019 and November 2020. In the material, the researchers found more than two dozen COVID-19 genomes and identified four coronaviruses similar to SARS-CoV-2, which caused the pandemic.
According to the scientists, SARS-CoV-2-related viruses continue to circulate in bat populations. Experts stressed that bats are an excellent natural reservoir for pathogens that cause severe disease in humans.
“In addition to bats and humans, coronavirus infection can infect many domestic and wild animals, including pigs, cattle, mice, cats, dogs, chickens, deer and hedgehogs,” the publication said.
Earlier, scientists from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi had discovered three mutated strains of the coronavirus that threaten vaccinated citizens, among others. According to experts, vaccinated patients were infected with the B.1.617 virus line, which includes three strains with multiple mutations.
In the past 24 hours, 13,510 cases of coronavirus infection have been detected in Russia in 85 regions, the maximum since Feb. 15. The largest number of new infected persons was recorded in Moscow (6701), Moscow Region (889) and St. Petersburg. The smallest numbers were recorded in Magadan Region (5), Nenets Autonomous Area (3) and Chukotka Autonomous Area (1).