Study: COSTA-2 near Covid-19, warns scientists

Study: COSTA-2 near Covid-19, warns scientists


studyCOSTA-2 nears Covid-19, warns scientists

A US study on the virus, which can infect humans and belongs to the same subtype of coronavirus as Covid-19, calls for the development of universal vaccines against this type of pathogen.

COSTA-2 was discovered in bats in Russia.  (illustrative picture)

COSTA-2 was discovered in bats in Russia. (illustrative picture)


Discovered in 2020 in bats near Russia’s Sochi National Park, Costa-2 is making waves in the scientific community. It belongs to the “sarbecovirus” family, the same subclass of coronaviruses as Covid-19, which has “disturbing properties”, we can read in a study carried out by researchers at Washington State University in the United States. In the magazine on September 21 PLoS Pathogens.

Hundreds of sarbecoviruses discovered in recent years — including those found in Asian bats — cannot infect human cells, reports “West France”. Before this new research showed otherwise, scientists thought the same for the Russian Costa-1 and 2. Khosta-2 can infect humans and evade current vaccines against Covid-19.

Sarbecovirus vaccines

Virologist Michael Letko, the author of the study, underlines the potential danger of sarbecovirus and the need to develop new vaccines that target not only the known types of Covid-19, but that protect against all sarbecoviruses.

However, the research puts the situation in perspective by saying that Costa-2 does not contain any genes that can cause severe disease in humans. But if the virus spreads on a large scale and mixes with SARS-CoV-2 genes, the situation could change.


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