In the study, scientists analyzed the possibility that the SARS-CoV-2 virus circulated among people for a long time before it was noticed by doctors.
Microbiologists analyzed the genomic data obtained from SARS-CoV-2 and other similar coronaviruses and showed that sections of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins are very effective in binding to human cells. This property can only be explained by the long evolution of the virus within the human body, according to immunologist Christian Andersen of Scripps Research.
“Two features of the virus, mutations in the RBD portion of the spike protein and its separate base, preclude laboratory manipulation as a potential source of SARS-CoV-2”.
Immunologist Christian Andersen of Scripps Research
At the same time, microbiologists note that such viruses in bats have a gene similar to SARS-CoV-2, but do not completely coincide with it. This may mean that the virus began to change inside the human body before it gained the ability to harm people. Scientists say that decades could pass before the virus acquired the ability to spread from person to person and cause serious, often life-threatening, diseases.
This can explain the boom of viral pneumonia, which took place in different countries of the world in 2019.