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The Importance of Research on the Origin of SARS-CoV-2

PanTherapeutics, CH1095 Lutry, Switzerland
Doctoral Studies in Natural Sciences and Technology SPL44, University of Vienna, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Network of Immunity in Infection, Malignancy and Autoimmunity (NIIMA), Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN), Vienna, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Department of Global Health, Italian Agency for Development Cooperation—Khartoum, Al Amarat 111111, Sudan
Department of Food Science, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA
Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Minia University, El-Minia 61519, Egypt
Department of Mathematics, Pingla Thana Mahavidyalaya, Maligram, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal 721140, India
Department of Applied Biology, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Tarnaka, Hyderabad 500007, India
Department of Biochemistry, Kakatiya Medical College/MGM-Hospital, Hyderabad 500007, India
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, Ulster University, Coleraine BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland, UK
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Yarmouk University, Irbid 21163, Jordan
Department of Zoology, Patna University, Patna, Bihar 800005, India
Applied Statistics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal 700108, India
Department of Molecular Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
Department of Physiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Center for Immunodeficiencies, Pediatrics Center of Excellence, Children’s Medical Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1419733151, Iran
Network of Immunity in Infection, Malignancy and Autoimmunity (NIIMA), Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN), Tehran 1419733151, Iran
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(11), 1203;
Received: 7 October 2020 / Revised: 20 October 2020 / Accepted: 20 October 2020 / Published: 22 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Coronaviruses)
The origin of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet been fully determined. Despite the consensus about the SARS-CoV-2 origin from bat CoV RaTG13, discrepancy to host tropism to other human Coronaviruses exist. SARS-CoV-2 also possesses some differences in its S protein receptor-binding domain, glycan-binding N-terminal domain and the surface of the sialic acid-binding domain. Despite similarities based on cryo-EM and biochemical studies, the SARS-CoV-2 shows higher stability and binding affinity to the ACE2 receptor. The SARS-CoV-2 does not appear to present a mutational “hot spot” as only the D614G mutation has been identified from clinical isolates. As laboratory manipulation is highly unlikely for the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the current possibilities comprise either natural selection in animal host before zoonotic transfer or natural selection in humans following zoonotic transfer. In the former case, despite SARS-CoV-2 and bat RaTG13 showing 96% identity some pangolin Coronaviruses exhibit very high similarity to particularly the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2. In the latter case, it can be hypothesized that the SARS-CoV-2 genome has adapted during human-to-human transmission and based on available data, the isolated SARS-CoV-2 genomes derive from a common origin. Before the origin of SARS-CoV-2 can be confirmed additional research is required View Full-Text
Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19 pandemic; origin of SARS-CoV-2; receptor binding domain; genome homology; natural selection; zoonotic transfer coronavirus; COVID-19 pandemic; origin of SARS-CoV-2; receptor binding domain; genome homology; natural selection; zoonotic transfer
MDPI and ACS Style

Lundstrom, K.; Seyran, M.; Pizzol, D.; Adadi, P.; Mohamed Abd El-Aziz, T.; Hassan, S.S.; Soares, A.; Kandimalla, R.; Tambuwala, M.M.; Aljabali, A.A.A.; Kumar Azad, G.; Pal Choudhury, P.; Uversky, V.N.; Sherchan, S.P.; Uhal, B.D.; Rezaei, N.; Brufsky, A.M. The Importance of Research on the Origin of SARS-CoV-2. Viruses 2020, 12, 1203.

AMA Style

Lundstrom K, Seyran M, Pizzol D, Adadi P, Mohamed Abd El-Aziz T, Hassan SS, Soares A, Kandimalla R, Tambuwala MM, Aljabali AAA, Kumar Azad G, Pal Choudhury P, Uversky VN, Sherchan SP, Uhal BD, Rezaei N, Brufsky AM. The Importance of Research on the Origin of SARS-CoV-2. Viruses. 2020; 12(11):1203.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lundstrom, Kenneth, Murat Seyran, Damiano Pizzol, Parise Adadi, Tarek Mohamed Abd El-Aziz, Sk. S. Hassan, Antonio Soares, Ramesh Kandimalla, Murtaza M. Tambuwala, Alaa A.A. Aljabali, Gajendra Kumar Azad, Pabitra Pal Choudhury, Vladimir N. Uversky, Samendra P. Sherchan, Bruce D. Uhal, Nima Rezaei, and Adam M. Brufsky 2020. "The Importance of Research on the Origin of SARS-CoV-2" Viruses 12, no. 11: 1203.

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