The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is the latest to “spread” from animal to human, but hundreds of thousands of other viruses lurking in animals may pose a similar threat. Now, a new online tool ranks viruses according to their potential to jump from animal to human and cause a pandemic.
This tool is called SpillOver. It basically creates The “watchlist” of the newly discovered animal virus that poses the greatest threat to human health. The researchers hope that scientists, policymakers and other health workers can use open tools to prioritize the virus for further studies, surveillance and risk-reducing activities such as developing vaccines or pre-disease treatment. Will spread
“SARS-COVI-2 is just one example of thousands of viruses that have the potential to spread from animal to human,”; said Soe Grange, who led the development of SpillOver as a postdoctoral researcher at a health institution. “We must not only identify, but prioritize the virus threat that is most vulnerable to leaks before another pandemic occurs,” the University of California, Davis said in a statement. “
11 (at some point) serious diseases affecting different species
Risk of leakage
250 viruses are known to be “zoonotic,” meaning they have spread from animal to human, and about 500,000-plus viruses with leak potential, the researchers wrote in a paper about the SpillOver tool, published online. Monday (April 5) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, but not every virus is equally likely to make the jump from animal to human. So the researchers created the score. “Like credit” for viruses for risk assessment and comparison purposes.
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To get a score, the tool looked at 32 risk factors associated with the virus and its host, such as the number of animals the virus was infected and how often humans interacted with wild animals in the area where the virus was detected.
The researchers then used the tool to rank 887 wildlife viruses based on the leak risk. (Most of the viruses included in the rating are newly discovered viruses. But some of them already know that they are zoonotic.)
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The top 12 viruses on the list are known as animal pathogens, with the Lassa virus ranked first, the second SARS-CoV-2, and the third Ebola virus. (The main animal host of the Lassa virus is the rodent, and the main host of the Ebola virus is believed to be a bat.The SARS-CoV-2 primary animal host is unknown, but the virus has been found to infect mink, lion and tiger.
The authors said they expected this result, known to rank zoonoses at the top, and used it to validate the tool.
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But because of today’s widespread threats to human health, why is SARS-CoV-2 out of the top? The researchers say their tools have the potential for future leaks. Some important information about SARS-COV-2 is still unknown, such as the number of infected host strains and may peak as researchers learn more about it, the authors said.
Among the top non-pathogenic viruses is coronavirus 229E (bat species), which belongs to the same virus family as SARS-CoV-2 and infected bats in Africa, according to SpillOver, another top virus. Is the coronavirus PREDICT CoV-35, which belongs to the coronavirus family and is infected with bats in Africa and Southeast Asia.
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The author noted that SpillOver is a platform. Crowdsourcing That allows other researchers to provide information on viruses included in the list or add viruses to the list, and ratings may change as new information is added.
“The tool is intended to start a global conversation that will help us go one step further than we think about past virus ratings and enable real-time scientific collaboration to identify. “SpillOver can help improve our understanding of threats to the health of the virus and help us take action to reduce the risk of virus infection. Risk of a leak before the outbreak hits the ground
This article originally appeared on LiveScience.