A team of American virologists has identified a covid-like virus that is lurking in Russian bats and they fear that it is “completely resistant” to all the coronavirus vaccines available on the market. 

The pathogen is called Khosta-2 and it was found that it can “latch onto human cells with ease in the same way as the Covid virus.”

It is classified as a sarbecovirus, a member of the coronavirus family, and nothing is known about it other than the fact that it is related to SARS-CoV-2, the strain responsible for Covid. 

As per Daily Mail, in an effort to discover more about the virus, researchers from Washington State University chose to test it.

They found that Khosta-2 was able to infect human cells in a manner that was remarkably similar to SARS-CoV-2. However, experts concluded that it wasn’t as efficient at doing so. Laboratory research also showed that it appeared “resistant” to two doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer injections.

However, according to Dr Seifert and colleagues, it is “still possible” that the virus can be fought off using either natural Covid immunity or possibly even protection gained by vaccination.

The experiment’s findings were reported in PLoS Pathogens, and the scientists acknowledged that the bulk of the “hundreds” of sarbecoviruses found are “not capable” of infecting people. They remarked that their research shows that these viruses represent a threat to world health and also “highlight the urgent need” for the creation of universal coronavirus vaccines.

Khosta-2 was discovered in bat samples taken between March and October 2020, according to the Daily Mail, but the Kremlin only acknowledged its presence in May.

Researchers from the Moscow Ministry of Health’s Gamaleya National Research Centre claim that they were conducting “ongoing surveillance” of the bats living in Sochi National Park, a 480,000-acre park which contains hundreds of caves teeming with bats.

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