Home/ News / World/  Khosta-2: New Covid-like virus found in Russian bats

Scientists have discovered a new coronavirus in bats that could become new trouble for the human population. The new virus, named "Khosta-2" sources are Russian bats and can infect human cells.

The other name of Khosta-2 is sarbecovirus--the same sub-category of coronaviruses as SARS-CoV-2-and it displays "troubling traits".

Scientists believe that the new virus is able to skirt the immune protection from Covid-19 vaccines.

As per a report in the journal PLoS Pathogens, scientists led by Michael Letko, found a group of coronaviruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 that were initially discovered living in bats in Russia in 2020. Another virus found in Russian bats, Khosta-1, cannot enter human cells readily, but Khosta-2 could, the scientists claimed.

Khosta-2 attaches to the same protein, ACE2 that coronavirus uses to penetrate human cells.

Further, when scientists combined, serum from people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 with Khosta-2, the antibodies in the serum did not neutralize the virus.

The same thing happened when they combined the Khosta-2 with the serum from people who had recovered from Omicron infection.

However, Letko told TIME.com, "We don’t want to scare anybody and say this is a completely vaccine-resistant virus. But it is concerning that there are viruses circulating in nature that have these properties—they can bind to human receptors and are not so neutralized by current vaccine responses".

All you need to know about the Khosta-2 virus:

  • The virus emerged in the human population after cross-species transmission from an animal source.
  • It is resistent ot Covid-19 vaccin. This means the available vaccines will not provide any protection against the Khosta-2 virus.
  • Khosta-2 virus belongs to the same category of coronaviruses as SARS-CoV-2.

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Updated: 24 Sep 2022, 11:52 AM IST
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