A study led by Flinders University vaccine researcher Nikolai Petrovsky in Australia reveals that SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, is optimized for penetration into human cells vs. animal cells – undermining the theory that it naturally evolved in animals before jumping to humans, according to LifeSiteNews‘ Matthew Cullinan Hoffman.
Petrovsky says that the results, which are not peer-reviewed, suggest “a remarkable coincidence or a sign of human intervention.”
The authors of the study, led by vaccine researcher Nikolai Petrovsky of Flinders University in Australia, used a version of the novel coronavirus collected in the earliest days of the outbreak and applied computer models to test its capacity to bind to certain cell receptor enzymes, called “ACE2,” that allow the virus to infect human and animal cells to varying degrees of efficacy.
They tested the propensity of the COVID-19 virus’s spike protein, which it uses to enter cells, to bind to the human type of ACE2 as well as to many different animal versions of ACE2, and found that the novel coronavirus most powerfully binds with human ACE2, and with variously lesser degrees of effectiveness with animal versions of the receptor.
According to the study’s authors, this implies that the virus that causes COVID-19 did not come from an animal intermediary,but became specialized for human cell penetration by living previously in human cells, quite possibly in a laboratory. –LifeSiteNews
Typically, “a virus would be expected to have highest affinity for the receptor in its original host species, e.g. bat, with a lower initial binding affinity for the receptor of any new host, e.g. humans. However, in this case, the affinity of SARS-CoV-2 is higher for humans than for the putative original host species, bats, or for any potential intermediary host species,” wrote the authors.