Cambodia bat researchers on mission to track origin of COVID-19 – Reuters

STUNG TRENG, Cambodia, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Researchers are collecting samples from bats in northern Cambodia in a bid to comprehend the coronavirus pandemic, returning to a region where an extremely similar infection was found in the animals a years ago.Two samples from horseshoe bats were gathered in 2010 in Stung Treng province near Laos and kept in freezers at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (IPC) in Phnom Penh.Tests done on them in 2015 exposed a close relative to the coronavirus that has actually killed more than 4.6 million people worldwide.An eight-member IPC research team has actually been collecting samples from bats and logging their types, sex, age and other details for a week. Comparable research is going on in the Philippines. read more “We hope that the result from this research study can assist the world to have a much better understanding about COVID-19,” field organizer Thavry Hoem told Reuters, as she held a net to catch bats.Host types such as bats usually show no symptoms of pathogens, however these can be devastating if transmitted to human beings or other animals.Dr. Veasna Duong, Head of Virology at the IPC, stated his institute had actually made four such trips in the past 2 years, wishing for hints about the origin and development of the bat-borne virus.”We wish to discover out whether the infection is still there and … to understand how the infection has developed,” he informed Reuters.Deadly viruses originating from bats include Ebola and other coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). But Veasna Duong said humans was accountable for the devastation triggered by COVID-19, due to interference and damage of natural environments.”If we try to be near wildlife, the chances of getting the virus brought by wildlife are more than regular. The possibilities of the infection changing to infect human beings are also more,” he said.The French-funded task likewise intends to look at how the wildlife trade could be playing a part, said Julia Guillebaud, a research study engineer at the IPCs virology unit.”(The project) aims to provide new understanding on wild meat trade chains in Cambodia, document the variety of betacoronaviruses flowing through these chains, and establish a flexible and integrated early-detection system of viral spill-over events,” Gillebaud said.Reportin by Cindy Liu in Stung Treng and Prak Chan Thul in Phnom Penh; Editing by Martin Petty and Andrew HeavensOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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