Dr. Arinjay Banerjee Profile picture
Scientist-Virologist @McMasterU. Soon @VIDOIntervac. Working on emerging #viruses and antiviral immunity to preserve human+animal health. he/him. 🦇 👨🏽‍🔬 🦠
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13 Feb
Do you wonder if #SARSCoV2 came from an animal or a lab?

I finally had the time to read this paper. I shall discuss in this thread observations relevant for virus emergence and why this work further discredits the lab origin theory. #COVID

1. Bats were collected from an irrigation pipe in Thailand. So, if you think that bats with SARS-related #coronaviruses only exist in remote caves, then you are wrong. Like most wildlife, bats can also cover long distances.
2. Coronavirus detected in Rhinolophus acuminatus in this study are evolutionary closely related to #SARSCoV2 and other SARS2-related coronaviruses detected in bats.
Read 5 tweets
2 Jan
When were the first human #coronaviruses (CoVs) discovered and studied?

How were these viruses associated with human #disease?

It's time to learn our history about human CoVs, and the scientists and volunteers that allowed us to identify this new group of viruses.

Mid-sixties: HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43 were identified.
1. Hamre et al. (1966)
2. McIntosh et al. (1967)
3. Tyrrell et al. (1965).

Image: Tyrrell et al. (1965).
Healthy HUMAN volunteers were infected to demonstrate that 229E and OC43 resulted in a common cold.

1. Bradburne et al. (1967, 1972)
2. Hamre et al. (1966)

Image: Bradburne et al. (1967)
Read 7 tweets
25 Dec 20
I have received questions about how #viruses (eg. #SARSCoV2) jump species to move from animals (eg. bats) into humans. While it may seem like a simple process, a multitude of factors have to align to allow a #virus to successfully cross the species barrier.
. @rainamontana's review from 2017 is a great explainer of the complexity of this process: nature.com/articles/nrmic…
Several factors (represented in this figure by holes) have to align to enable a virus to jump species.
As far as #SARSCoV2 is concerned, while data supports a bat origin for the virus, the transmission route of the virus (how did the virus makes its way from bats into humans?) remains unknown. For a scientific explanation, read our forum article here: cell.com/trends/ecology…
Read 4 tweets
20 Dec 20
The mutation in the spike protein of circulating #SARSCoV2 has been the focus of many stories over the last couple of days. We and others have shown that coronaviruses exist as mixed populations (quasispecies) in a host.. here’s what we know.
We showed that MERSCoV can select for different variants in cells from an alternate host (I.e. bats): nature.com/articles/s4159…
So, what we realized is that the virus itself doesn’t actively change, but the major represented population does, based on selection pressure. So what does that mean?...
Read 10 tweets