Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shandong University have discovered new types of coronaviruses in bats, similar to the pathogen that causes COVID-19. This was announced on Saturday, June 12, according to Cell magazine.
“In total, we collected 24 new coronavirus genomes from different bat species, including four SARS-CoV-2-like coronaviruses,” the study authors noted.
According to Chinese scientists, one strain derived from the bat species Rhinolophus pusillus is particularly similar to SARS-CoV-2, although it has some differences in the protein that viruses use to attach to infected cells.
“Together with the SARS-CoV-2-related virus collected in Thailand in June 2020, these results clearly demonstrate that viruses closely related to SARS-CoV — 2 continue to circulate in bat populations, and in some regions may occur with relatively high frequency,” the experts concluded.