Researchers say there’s a virus that derives from bats that’s resistant to vaccines and is somewhat like COVID-19.
According to researchers at Washington State University, a new virus called Khosta-2 is in the same sub-family of coronavirus, which is called sarbecoviruses, and it’s found in Russian bats. It’s one of the hundreds of sarbecoviruses that have been found over the last few years.
What’s different about Khosta-2, however, is like COVID-19 it’s able to infect humans. Unlike COVID-19, it appears to be resistant to vaccines, KFI reports.
“Our research further demonstrates that [viruses] circulating in wildlife outside of Asia – even in places like western Russia where the Khosta-2 virus was found – also pose a threat to global health and ongoing vaccine campaigns against SARS-CoV-2,” read a journal entry in PLoS Pathogens, written by WSU virologist Michael Letko.
Khosta 1 and Khosta 2 were both initially found in 2020.
“Right now, there are groups trying to come up with a vaccine that doesn’t just protect against the next variant of SARS-2 but actually protects us against the sarbecoviruses in general,” Letko said. “Unfortunately, many of our current vaccines are designed to specific viruses we know infect human cells or those that seem to pose the biggest risk to infect us. But that is a list that’s everchanging. We need to broaden the design of these vaccines to protect against all sarbecoviruses.”