Pangolin again in the spotlight for being a possible transmitter of COVID-19

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Last February scientists from China revealed that the pangolin was identified as a possible “host intermediate” that facilitated the transmission of the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19.

Almost two months of the announcement, experts analyzed their sequence metagenomic and agreed that this mammal porta virus closely related to the one that caused the pandemic.

Although bats are likely to be guests of the reservoir of SARS-CoV-2, it is unknown the identity of any guest intermediate that may have facilitated the transfer to humans. Here, we report the identification of the coronavirus related to SARS-CoV-2 in pangolins”. Nature

According to a article published by the journal Nature, specialists of the University of Hong Kong and the University of Shantou worked with pangolins from Malaysia seized in operations against the smuggling in the south of China.

The discovery of multiple lineages of coronaviruses pangolin and its similarity to the SARS-CoV-2 suggests that the pangolinas should be considered as potential guests in the emergence of new coronavirus”. Nature

The study also suggests that the pangolins must be removed from the markets to avoid zoonotic transmission.

And points out that it requires a increased surveillance of pangolins wild to understand their role in the risk of further transmission to humans.

Groups of coronavirus identified

Two groups of coronavirus-related virus behind the pandemic of the COVID-19 have been identified in pangolin that came illegally to China, said the principal investigator, Dr. Tommy Lam of the University of Hong Kong.

However, the experts also said that it remains a mystery how the virus jumped from a wild animal, presumably a bat, another animal and then human.

Discover viruses related to the SARS-CoV-2 in pangolins smuggled from Malaysia opens up the question of where they contracted the virus, said Dr. Lam. What was of bats along the route of the traffic to China or in their native habitats in southeast asia?

The illegal hunting of the pangolin

More of a a million pangolins were trafficked in the past ten years, and your illegal hunting has been fueled by the high demand for its meat and some other parts of your body.

In 2016, the convention on the international trade of wild species threatened of extinction introduced a pangolin in a list that prohibits your marketingbut according to a number of organizations, the illegal trafficking of this species continues to increase.

In January, China announced that it was forbidden temporarily the trade of wild animals and for an indefinite period shall be prohibited the breeding, transport and sale of all wild species.

What you need to know about the pangolin

The pangolin is a small animal known for its scales and for being the mammal most hunted in the world, because their meat is very appreciated by connoisseurs of chinese and vietnamese. In addition to your scales, bones, and organs are used in traditional asian medicine.

The pangolin is often solitary and nocturnalalso will dig dens, climbs trees and feeds on termites.

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