Monitoring of novel zoonotic diseases is necessary to prevent pandemics

Research at In the UK University College London’s UCL Genetics Institute, the Francis Crick Institute, Imperial College London found bat species breeding in the UK, which not only contain novel corona variants, but also four alphacoronaviruses, a MERS-related betacoronavirus, and four closely related sarbecoviruses.
At least one of these sarbecoviruses can infect humans, using the human ACE2 receptor to infect the human cells, albeit suboptimal, but – like what happened with COVID-19 – genetic variants could be more contagious.
Three bat species in the UK carried betacoronaviruses, meanwhile, a genus encompassing human pathogens such as SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and MERS-CoV: the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum), the lesser horseshoe bat (R. hipposideros), and the brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus).
A Nature Communications article published on June 27 this year indicates the importance to mitigate zoonotic risks to prevent future pandemics. It strengthens my understanding of the need to invest in bio-defense and the importance of a proper biological defense system monitoring the environment and giving a trigger when an abnormality in our microbiome is detected. If we see something, we can nowadays identify the pathogenicity and develop counter measures (like a dedicated m-RNA vaccine) with innovative gene identification technologies based on PCR techniques, alike the fast LAMP detection system. 



The UK Cabinet Office’s updated Biological Security Strategy recognizes that future biological threats can be defeated through a combination of scientific innovation, government leadership, and public-private coordination.

Read the full review by Shannon G. and Skandan Ananthasekar:

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