LivingThe next coronavirus could come from rats

The next coronavirus could come from rats

A study from Princeton University (USA) concludes that rodents can be asymptomatic carriers of viruses similar to SARS, which means that the “next COVID-19” could come from rats.

The experts carried out a genomic analysis of several species of mammals, looking specifically at the receptors that SARS viruses bind to. They found evidence that some rodent species were repeatedly exposed to SARS-like coronaviruses in the past, likely leading them to develop a certain level of resistance.

“Our study suggests that ancestral rodents may have had repeated SARS-like coronavirus infections,” say the authors; something that has allowed them to acquire ‘some form of tolerance or resistance to SARS-like coronaviruses as a result of these infections. “This raises the tantalizing possibility that some modern rodent species may be asymptomatic carriers of SARS-like coronaviruses, including those that have yet to be discovered.”

According to the scientists publishing their findings in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, “continuing to explore the adaptations in animal hosts of the coronavirus will be important to understand which animals have possibly adapted the tolerance mechanisms through ancient exposures and may be carriers of viruses. similar to SARS. Such studies will also help us find those that are vulnerable symptomatic hosts, as humans have unfortunately shown to be. “

 Referencia: Comparative genomic analysis reveals varying levels of mammalian adaptation to coronavirus infections. Sean B. King. Mona Singh Published: November 18, 2021 PLOS Computational Biology. DOI:

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