Science

Coronaviruses could be causing epidemics for 25,000 years: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on November 23, 2020 Published on November 23, 2020

‘Adaptive response of the coronaviruses seems to be continuously happening over 20,000 years’

A new study carried by the researchers at the University of Adelaide and Australian National University in Australia and the University of Arizona in the US aimed to study genomes in order to gain insight on viruses that had affected ancient people.

The study found that an ancient coronavirus-like epidemic drove the adaptation of East Asian peoples from 25,000 to 5,000 years ago.

The findings of their study were published on the preprint server bioRxiv.

The researchers noted that the past evidence suggests ancient viral epidemics have occurred regularly in the history of humanity. However, it is unclear whether the impact was as pronounced as that of SARS-CoV-2.

The researchers through their study intended to figure out whether ancient coronavirus epidemics have caused genetic differences within and across modern human populations.

For the study, they scanned 26 diverse human populations from five continents to prove strong selection acting on proteins that interact with coronavirus strains (CoV-VIPs).

They found 42 CoV-VIPs manifesting a coordinated adaptive response that emerged way back (around 25,000 years ago), equating to 900 generations.

The researchers observed that adaptive response of the coronaviruses seems to be continuously happening over 20,000 years.

This shows that CoV-VIPs have been occurring throughout history.

“Our findings highlight the utility of incorporating evolutionary genomic approaches into standard medical research protocols. Indeed, by revealing the identity of our ancient pathogenic foes, evolutionary genomic methods may ultimately improve our ability to predict – and thus prevent – the epidemics of the future,” the researchers concluded.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on November 23, 2020
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor