A scientist doing coronavirus research identified a type of coronavirus that affects dogs and can also be transmitted to humans. To reach a definitive conclusion about this type of coronavirus, which can be detected with a special test, studies need to continue.
The coronavirus, which has taken our lives captive for the past year, has been in our lives for years. For example, a coronavirus strain called "SARS-CoV" in 2002 was transmitted from some cats to humans. However, the infectiousness of this virus was not that high in those years and could be controlled. Experts are worried that the coronavirus, which has become "SARS-CoV-2" today, may cause an epidemic every 10 years.
Dr. Gregory Gray, who works at Duke University, wondered if another coronavirus could one day cause an epidemic, such as SARS-CoV-2. After conducting detailed research on this, Gray reached a very interesting conclusion as a result of the help he received from his colleagues. So much so that in Malaysia, a new type of coronavirus was detected, whose main target is dogs, but can also be transmitted from dogs to humans.
Dr. Gregory Gray has been working on the coronavirus since the days of the epidemic in China. However, PCR tests, which were used to detect coronavirus, could only detect known virus types, were inadequate for Dr. Gray. Taking action to develop a new test with one of his students, Leshan Xiu, Gray was able to develop a test kit that works like a PCR test but detects all types of viruses. This test revealed a very interesting and scary situation in Malaysia.
The developed test was applied to 301 patients in Savarak Malaysia. These patients were mostly children and had ailments similar to pneumonia. In 8 of these patients are SARS-CoV-2 which is a different type of coronavirus was detected. The scientist who studied the virus found that this virus is a coronavirus that can make dogs sick. Gray found his findings so extraordinary so that think the test they developed was malfunctioning.
Dr. Gregory Gray contacted Anastasia Vlasova, who works at Ohio State University and specializes in coronaviruses that affect animals, talking about the coronavirus he detected. Vlasova, who was involved in the research, found that the virus in question was indeed dog-oriented in her laboratory examinations. This time, the scientist trying to unravel the genome of this virus species, as a result of her studies, realized that this species can affect pigs and cats, although it is a species that makes dogs sick.
Anastasia Vlasova says that during their research, they saw that the virus underwent a unique mutation. Interestingly, the mutation caused the virus to lose its effect in dogs. However, this time, contagiousness is increasing and even people could be infected with this mutated coronavirus. Xumin Zhang, a virologist at the University of Arkansas, says the findings are important, but nothing worrisome, at least for now, because there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission of this new coronavirus strain.
Zhang says that the studies need to be detailed, and somehow it will not surprise him that this type of virus may not be the canine virus, but a new variant of the coronavirus that is transmitted from humans to dogs.