viruses cousins ​​of Sars-CoV-2 in Laos relaunch the search for the origins

DECRYPTION – Viruses discovered in the north of the country, near the Chinese border, are capable of infecting human cells, but are arguably not pathogenic.

The search for the origins of Sars-CoV-2 is progressing. Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, in Paris and Laos, as well as from the University of Laos have discovered new coronaviruses very close to Sars-CoV-2. Discoveries uploaded to the Research Square website pending their publication, and carried out thanks to samples taken from several hundred bats in northern Laos, near the Chinese border. “This is a very important discovery, which does not close all the questions, but shows that by multiplying the analyzes we can remove the shadow parts that remain on this crucial question of the origins of the Covid-19 epidemic”, comments Étienne Decroly, virologist at the University of Aix-Marseille. These Laotian viruses make it possible to definitively exonerate the pangolin from being the carrier of the virus causing Covid-19 and they point to a geographical origin between the north of the Indochinese peninsula and the south of China.

Before this new discovery,

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