The NeoCoV coronavirus identified in Africa has similar principles of penetration into cells with SARS-CoV-2. It has the potential to pose a threat to humans, according to an article on bioRxiv.
NeoCoV has been found in bats in South Africa and is still circulating in this population, but it has the latent potential to mutate.
< br /> NeoCoV is a close relative of the MERS-CoV coronavirus, the causative agent of the Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak, which was recorded in the 2010s.
“In this study, we unexpectedly found that NeoCoV and its close relative PDF-2180-CoV may effectively use some types of bat angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2, the receptor through which some coronaviruses enter the body) and, less favorably, human ACE2 to enter the body,” the scientists write.
Study describes first use of ACE2 by “relatives” coronavirus MERS-CoV. This reveals a “potential biosecurity threat,” they note.