Neo-CoV, a close relative of MERS-CoV (35% fatality rate) discovered in South African bat population by Chinese scientists. It features a similar affinity to ACE-2 receptors, similar to SARS-CoV-2.

  1. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many zoonotic diseases that were one or two mutations from another pandemic…. Let’s just hope this one stays dormant.

  2. Yeah, that wouldn't surprise me either. It's just the ACE-2 receptor affinity (with the required mutation they identified) and MERS that is just an especially bad mix :\

  3. This isn't a sarbecovirus though, as MERS is on another subgenus of the betacoronavirus genus. Not sure how feasible it is to have a vaccine for all these betacoronaviruses.

  4. It means the variant of Neo-CoV discovered in South African bats is one specific mutation away from being highly transmissible from bats to humans. Perhaps someone else could chime in, but it seems this specific variant could spill over, but not easily(?) in it's current form. And MERS/SARS-CoV-2 antibodies don't work against it. Basically the gist of it.

  5. Seriously, I was researching MERS last night just by coincidence. Feels like I'm in a nightmare. I'm just glad this hasn't hit humans, but it sounds like its close. WHO called for further investigation and thanked the researchers for sharing their discovery.

  6. Why has this even been posted here beyond the purpose of doom porn? It's an early scientific discovery that's got absolutely nothing to do with SARS-CoV-2.

  7. So could anything realistically be done to mitigate against this potential problem, or is all we can really do is watch and try to contain it if it does someday spillover? Can’t go killing all the bats in South Africa, probably can’t bank on a pan-coronavirus vaccine. Could we stockpile mRNA vaccines targeting it so they’d be ready or are they too unstable to stockpile for years? Anything else I’m missing that could be done?

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