The ancestor of the coronavirus became independent 40 years ago. This was reported in the study by British biologists, published in the journal Nature Microbiology.
The comparison of the genome “relatives” SARS-CoV-2, scientists have found that the alleged ancestor of the modern coronavirus departed from the genealogical tree of the evolution of viruses a few decades ago. In particular, after analyzing the related SARS-CoV-2 group of viruses RaTG13, experts found out that their ancestor became independent in the period between 1948 and 1982.
A new study refutes earlier assumptions that the causative agent COVID-19 could appear recently. While it is still unknown what role in the formation of a new type of coronavirus has been played by the exchange of genetic material between other types of viruses.
Biologists concluded that a relative of the coronavirus may have spread to southern China and hit podkovonos bats in the last 50 years. Viruses have a special structure that allowed them to attach to receptors on the surface of animal cells. It became clear to scientists that your key features of SARS-CoV-2 acquired some time ago. Universal properties of coronavirus has allowed him freely to spread between entire rows of mammalian cells.
In conclusion, the study says that similar to the modern coronavirus pathogens can spread and cause new outbreaks of deadly infections. The key to solving problems is to study existing coronaviruses and timely prevention of new pandemics.