One of the conspiracy theories during this pandemic is the idea that the Coronavirus was synthesized laboratory, but the vast majority of scientists who have studied this virus assert that it naturally evolved, and entered human bodies through animals, mostly by bats.
How do we know exactly that the corona virus or scientifically known as SARS-COV-2 has animal, not industrial, origin?
The answer lies in the genetic material and evolutionary history of the virus, and the understanding of the bat environment.
Nearly 60% of all known infectious diseases and 75% of new diseases that appear or re-emergence have animal origins, and the SARS-COV-2 virus is one of the seven most recent types of coronavirus that infects humans, all from animals, either from bats, Or mice, or pets.
Bats are the source of viruses that cause the following infectious diseases: Ebola, rabies, infection with Nipah virus, Hendra virus, Marburg virus, and influenza virus strains.
The genetic or "genomic" content of the SARS-COV-2 virus has been recognized for its sequence, and then shared with thousands of scientists around the world, so if it were laboratory-manipulated, we would find references to that in its genome information. And then we have evidence of an abnormal sequence on the basis of the new virus, and clear, targeted information that has been inserted or removed from the genetic elements. But this guide does not exist! It is unlikely that any genetic modification of the virus will be made without any sign of evidence, such as detectable DNA.
The SARS-COV-2 DNA is similar to the DNA of other coronaviruses transmitted through bats, and all of these viruses have a generally similar genetic structure, such as that coming from a scaly anteater, each of which has a similar genetic structure.
The differences between these coronavirus genomes show typical natural patterns of coronavirus development. This makes us expect that the SARS-COV-2 virus has evolved from a previous (normal) wild coronavirus.
One of the key components that make SARS-COV-2 different from other coronaviruses is a specific protein protrusion that binds to another protein outside human cells called ACE2 and because of this binding the virus is able to attach and invade human cells aggressively.
Other similar coronaviruses have similar characteristics, indicating that they have evolved naturally and have not been laboratory modified.
Coronaviruses and bats are governed by a permanent arms race, in which viruses constantly evolve to invade the bat's immune system, while bats develop their immune systems to counteract coronavirus infection.
Viruses continue to evolve many times and in different forms, but most will be destroyed by immune bat systems, while only some will survive and be transmitted to another bat.
Some scientists have suggested that SARS-COV-2 could have evolved from a bat-origin virus, known as RaTG13, that scientists had found at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the similarity between the two viruses was 96%.
This may seem at first glance very close, but in evolutionary terms this makes them radically different, and both have a common common ancestor, and this proves to us that (RaTG13) is not a predecessor of the SARS-COV-2 virus.
In fact, the SARS-COV-2 virus is likely to have evolved from various viral sources, which have not been able to survive for long periods, or have remained within bats at low concentrations. At the same time, the virus developed its ability to invade human cells, and by chance it found its way to us. This could have been through an intermediary animal host between us and the bat, which was prosperous at the time. Or, it mainly transmitted directly to humans in a harmless way, and then a mutation occurred and became harmful when it began to pass between people.
Mixing or hybridizing the coronavirus genomes is one way to bring in new coronavirus. There is now much evidence that this process may include SARS-COV-2 virus generation.
From the beginning of the epidemic, the SARS-COV-2 virus began to evolve into two clear strains, as it adapted to the most successful invasion of human cells, and this could have happened through a method called a selective invasion, where some mutations help in transmitting the virus to more hosts, To become more common in virus counts, this is a natural process that can greatly reduce the variations between individual viral genomes.
The same mechanism will be counted in favor of a lack of genetic diversity in the SARS-COV-2 virus. This means that the predecessors of the SARS-COV-2 virus have been present and traveling between bats for a long time. Later, however, it is possible that the virus was exposed to mutations that caused it to transfer from bats to other animals, including humans.
It is also important to remember that about a fifth of mammals on Earth are bats, some of which are located in specific areas but others travel vast distances, and this diversity and geographical spread make it very difficult to determine which species originally came from the SARS-COV-2 virus.
There is other evidence that the first cases of Covid-19 disease occurred outside Wuhan, China, and these patients had nothing to do with the Wuhan market in which the outbreaks began to spread.
Simply, people may have been accidentally infected and then they in turn transferred it to Wuhan and then to the closed and crowded popular market, and this has led to an increased chance of infection and spreading rapidly, and this included one of the scientists who study the Corona virus in bats in Wuhan, without They know the reason, and then they bring it with them from where the bats live, though this condition is still considered a normal infection and not a laboratory leak.
Only through rigorous science and the study of the natural world can we truly understand the nature and history of the animal origin of a pandemic such as Covid-19. This is a close link, because of our constantly changing relationships and increasing contact with wildlife, so the risk of the emergence of new deadly and contagious diseases in humans increases.
Ultimately, the SARS-COV-2 virus is not the first virus that has been transmitted to us from animals, and it will certainly not be the last.