Researchers caution that another novel human coronavirus outbreak may be imminent due to the destruction of wildlife habitats.
The new study, available on bioRxiv, used phylogenetic analysis to demonstrate how some groups of bats harbor other multiple coronavirus lineages.
The ongoing deadly coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and its exact source is still being studied and debated by experts.
Experts said emerging infectious disease due to coronavirus infections are not new and have even received global attention after the SARS-CoV outbreak back in 2002 to 2003 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) outbreak in 2012. All of them belong to the same group of Betacoronaviruses.
Based from months of studies, researchers believe future coronavirus outbreaks may even be predicted on a geographical level.
Researchers from the University of the Philippines Mindanao, University of the Philippines Manila, and Animal Solutions Veterinary Hospital in Bolcan decided to further expand the study on the evolution, diversity, distribution, host specificity, and zoonotic transmission of bat coronaviruses.
“Continued ecological imbalances that alter bat distribution may eventually lead to loss of host specificity for bat Betacoronaviruses through cross-taxon transmission and adaptation of multiple coronavirus lineages,” authors of the study said.
“Diverse wildlife-livestock-human interfaces created by urbanization could further increase the selection pressure resulting in spillover events in human populations,” they added.
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