On the evening of March 9, Shi Zhengli, director of the new infectious diseases research center of Wuhan Virus Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, visited an online public welfare classroom of “2020 scientific anti epidemic”. She clarified that novel coronavirus was not manufactured by humans, and that the closure of Southern China seafood market did bring difficulty to the tracing of the origin of the new crown virus. She also reminded that the next cross-ethnic bat coronavirus infection is still a high probability event.
At 8:00 p.m. on March 9, the second phase of the “2020 scientific anti epidemic” series of public science public welfare live broadcast began, and the guest invited was Shi Zhengli. This is the first novel coronavirus related to the new situation since the outbreak of the epidemic.
In the live broadcast, Shi Zhengli pointed out that in 2003, when SARS coronavirus was spreading, Hong Kong scientists successfully collected samples before the market in Guangdong was closed, and soon found a virus intermediate host with 99.7% homology with SARS coronavirus. Later, it took eight years for the academic community to find that the source host of the virus was bat.
The novel coronavirus traceability has been missing due to the closure of the animal market in Southern China, Shi Zhengli said. In this case, she believes that to find a new coronavirus intermediate host, one is to understand what wildlife they have been exposed to through patients, and the other is to understand where these animals come from through the people who sell wild animals. Shi Zhengli also suggested that we need to find clues in the main habitats of natural host bats, such as Yunnan.
The novel coronavirus has been confirmed as a “sister virus” that is associated with the SARS coronavirus. Nandu journalists learned that novel coronavirus and SARS virus have different PRRA loci in gene sequences, which is suspected to have “artificial insertion”. This has led netizens to speculate about the “new crown virus is artificial”.
Novel coronavirus was definitely not artificial in Shi Zhengli’s live broadcast classroom. She explained that novel coronavirus PRRA loci were found in bat coronavirus. “This proves that this site is not artificially inserted, but exists in bat population.”.
Bat novel coronavirus has a lower probability of transmitting directly, and the next coronavirus is still likely to appear.
Can the coronavirus in bats directly infect humans? Shi Zhengli said his team found that antibodies to SARS coronavirus were detected in people in close contact with bats, indicating that humans had traces of infection, but these people had no clinical symptoms. “This shows that bats have the chance to infect people, but the probability is low, and the human immune system can clear the virus.”.
“I didn’t expect that the new bat SARS virus will occur at the end of 2019, and it will be in the city where I live.” Shi finally said that of the 12 coronaviruses his team extracted from bats, SARS coronavirus is the most infectious. She warned that novel coronavirus cross infection among SARS groups would still be a high probability event. The next coronavirus might still occur.