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Published in Nature communications - 11/09/2021
Delaune D, Hul, V, Karlsson EA, Hassanin A, Putita Ou T, Baidaliuk A, Gámbaro F, Prot M, Tan Tu V, Chea S, Keatts L, Mazet J, Johnson CK, Buchy P, Dussart P, Goldstein T, Simon-Lorière E, Duong V

Knowledge of the origin and reservoir of the coronavirus responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is still fragmentary. To date, the closest relatives to SARS-CoV-2 have been detected in Rhinolophus bats sampled in the Yunnan province, China. Here we describe the identification of SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses in two Rhinolophus shameli bats sampled in Cambodia in 2010. Metagenomic sequencing identifies nearly identical viruses sharing 92.6% nucleotide identity with SARS-CoV-2. Most genomic regions are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, with the exception of a region of the spike, which is not compatible with human ACE2-mediated entry. The discovery of these viruses in a bat species not found in China indicates that SARS-CoV-2 related viruses have a much wider geographic distribution than previously reported, and suggests that Southeast Asia represents a key area to consider for future surveillance for coronaviruses.

 

More information at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-26809-4