Another monkey virus on verge of infecting humans: Latest study

An unidentified virus family that is currently common in wild African primates is known to cause deadly Ebola-like symptoms in some monkeys and is ‘poised for spillover” to humans, says a latest study by the researchers at University of Colorado Boulder.

The research published online September 30 in medical journal Cell, the animal virus has worked out how to get into human cells, reproduce, and avoid some of the crucial immune responses that we would anticipate to protect us from an animal virus. Senior author Sara Sawyer, a CU Boulder professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, said: “That’s pretty unusual.” The author added: “We need to pay attention to it.”

Sawyer said that coronavirus is merely the most recent in a long line of spillover events from animals to people, some of which have burst into global disasters. Sawyer explained: “Our objective is that by raising knowledge of the viruses to be on the lookout for, we can get ahead of this so that if human illnesses start, we can respond swiftly.”

The research shows that a molecule called CD163 plays an important role in the biology of simian arteriviruses, allowing the virus to enter and infect target cells.

Despite the fact that such arteriviruses are already regarded as a serious hazard to macaque monkeys, no human infections have been observed to date, according to ANI. The agency added that it is also unknown what effect the virus might have on humans if it jumped species.

“The similarities between this virus and the simian viruses that caused the HIV epidemic are deep,” stated Warren, who’s at present an assistant professor in The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Sawyer and lead author Cody Warren focused on arteriviruses, which are abundant in pigs and horses but understudied in nonhuman primates. “Just because we haven’t yet identified a human arterivirus infection doesn’t mean no one has been exposed.” “We haven’t looked,” Warren defined.

However, experts are of the view that thousands of different viruses circulate among animals all throughout the world, with the majority of them generating no symptoms – INDIA NEWS STREAM

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