Pangolin could be an intermediate animal source of the new coronavirus

Black-bellied-pangolin

Black-bellied-pangolin

Arinjay Banerjee, a coronavirus researcher at McMaster University stated that "another crucial detail is where in pangolins the researchers found the virus - for example, whether it was isolated from blood samples or rectal swabs". Ebola outbreak (2013-2016) was also traced to bats.

At a seminar in August past year, officials from China's Wildlife and Plant Protection Department said they were trying to upgrade pangolins to a class-1 most protected animal.

The pangolin is considered the most trafficked animal on the planet and over one million have been snatched from Asian and African forests in the past decade, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Thousands of them are poached every year due to their medicinal value and human consumption in countries like China and Vietnam.

More than 1,000 metagenome samples of wild animals were analyzed by a research team at the South China Agricultural University led by university president Liu Yahong. In the event of the one, experts believe the virus infected individuals in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Marketplace, in which live animals were marketed. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

Chinese researchers suggest small animal pangolins could be the source of coronavirus outbreak due to which more than 30,000 people are affected worldwide.

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. Although both were nocturnal mammals, it was unclear how the virus jumped from bat to pangolin. The study also revealed that the virus may dock into a receptor in human cells known as ACE2, profound in people's lungs.

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Bats pass along viruses in their poop: If they drop feces onto a piece of fruit that another animal then eats, the creature can become a carrier.

"Pangolins are potential intermediate hosts, but there may be multiple intermediate hosts", Shen said.

"We would need to see all of the genetic data to get a feel for how related the human and pangolin viruses are", Jonathan Bell, a professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, said.

Birds and animals are within the centre of the talk about how the virus originated.

The number of deaths from the coronavirus outbreak in China has officially risen to 722 on Saturday.

However, it is possible that there may be several intermediate hosts of the virus, according to the China Daily.

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