Host range projection of SARS-CoV-2: South Asia perspective

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
R. AhmedMd. Shahidul Islam


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causing agent of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), is likely to be originated from bat and transmitted through intermediate hosts. However, the immediate source species of SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been confirmed. Here, we used diversity analysis of the angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) that serves as cellular receptor for SARS-CoV-2 and transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), which has been proved to be utilized by SARS-CoV-2 for spike protein priming. We also simulated the structure of receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (SARS-CoV-2 S RBD) with the ACE2s to investigate their binding affinity to determine the potential intermediate animal hosts that could spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus to humans in South Asia. We identified cow, buffalo, goat and sheep, which are predominant species in the household farming system in South Asia that can potentially be infected by SARS-CoV-2. All the bird species studied along with rat and mouse were considered less potential to interact with SARS-CoV-2. The interaction interfaces of SARS-CoV-2 S RBD and ACE2 protein complex suggests pangolin as a potential intermediate host in SARS-CoV-2. Our results provi...Continue Reading

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