Two latest research studies published in the multidisciplinary scientific journal Nature on Monday revealed that the novel coronavirus (n-COV), which claimed a number of human lives in China, may have been originated from bats.
A team of scientists from China’s Fudan University conducted a study on the cells of a 41-year-old male worker from a seafood market who was admitted into a hospital on December 26 with symptoms of a respiratory illness.
As per reports, the researchers performed genome sequencing on a sample of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid – a lung secretion – collected from the patient.
The researchers found that the patient was infected by a virus which has 89 per cent similar characteristics with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronaviruses that had earlier been found in bats from China.
Moreover, a second research publication from the journal Nature also revealed that n-COV had distinct similar characteristics with viruses that originated in bats.
The study was conducted researchers from Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The researchers conducted analysis on samples from seven patients with severe pneumonia.
Among these seven patients, six of them were workers from Huanan wholesale seafood market in Wuhan, the place from where coronavirus was first reported.
Full-length genome sequences obtained from five of these patients are found to be over 99.9 per cent identical to each other, and share 79.5 per cent sequence identity with SARS coronaviruses.
The researchers also found that the virus sequence was 96 per cent identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the death toll due to coronavirus reached 425 on Tuesday.