​Russian biologists find new hints of natural origin of COVID-19

​The researchers discovered unusual mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus genome that substantially increased after the virus was transmitted to humans

MOSCOW, July 28. /TASS/. Researchers of the Institute for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences have discovered an unusual way of accumulation of point mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus genome indicating that recently it was evolutionarily adapted to reside in bats, the Institute’s press service reported on Tuesday citing the article in the PeerJ journal.

"We discovered that the share of mutations of guanine to uracil in the SARS-CoV-2 genome increased almost ten-fold after the virus was transmitted to humans. This characteristic is much less pronounced in the genome of the atypical pneumonia SARS-CoV pathogen and is practically non-existent in the cold HKU1 virus," researchers wrote.

The scientists for a rather long time have been trying to understand where and how the novel coronavirus emerged causing the global COVID-19 pandemic as well as when it started to be transmitted from human to human. There is no consensus among the epidemiologists on this subject.

There are many discussions when and where the first infection of a human with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus occurred, whether it shows signs of recombination,whether humans received the virus directly from bats or through a transitionary host as well as why the SARS-CoV-2 turned out to be so strong.