There’s a biological reason why the coronavirus is seasonal

The epidemic of Kovid-19 and other diseases is increasing every winter. The reasons are well known: the more people are confined indoors, the less immune protection … but there is also a reason linked to the structure of the coronavirus, a protein of which is sensitive to temperature.

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As you might expect, the fifth Unclear From COVID-19 is sweeping Europe at the end ofDrop, There are more and more well-known reasons for this Spreading From virus in winter : When it is cold, we spend most of our time indoors, resulting in more transmission. Ale’Wind Whose entry favors even cold and dryness? virus in nose, and our immune defenses are also weakened by low temperatures. Several studies have also shown that virus was myself sensitive to cold, spread more in wet weather (the virus stays in the air longer) and didn’t like the sun,

What is the connection between coral and coronavirus?

Due to all these reasons, now another hypothesis has been added related to the molecular structure of Sars-CoV-2, which the researchers have discovered. Coral, Small step back In 2019, Chinese scientists discovered Compared to galectin, a glycoprotein Involved in various biological processes, the symbiotic was involved in the recognition between dinoflagellates and coral polyps, and this process was sensitive to temperature variation. Thus the bond between the two forms more easily between 25 °C and 30 °C. On the other hand, this recognition mechanism works much less at 30 °C, which explains why global warming drives Coral bleaching, which then becomes more susceptible to bacterial infection pathogens, And that’s where we come into our coronavirus.

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a protein that changes the structure of the virus depending on the temperature

Gustavo Caetano-Anoles, Professor at the Institute of Biology genomics The University of Illinois and their colleagues analyzed thousands of genome Of Sars-CoV-2, they discovered a galectin-like structure on the spike protein, which is used by the virus to bind to and enter the cell. , These protein structures sense external conditions and are triggered when it is not too hot or humid. Spike protein structure change allowingarn Viral to enter host cells », describes the researcher, lead author of the study published in Methods in Microbiology,

, Imagine Spike Protein like a small jar that flaps at the top to keep it closed. When the temperature is high, the jar remains completely closed and cannot spread its infectious contents. But, under cool, dry conditions, the jar opens, releasing the peptide of Fusion Which helps to fuse the virus and the membrane of the host cells. This allows the virus to enter the cell and do more damage. », refers to Gustavo Caetano-Anoles.

No more dangerous mutations during winter

This discovery not only explains why the virus is more contagious Cold, but it also means that it mutates more during weather, By looking at the genomic changes of Sars-CoV-2 around the world, they found mutation overload In winters or in high altitude places where the weather is cold throughout the year. In contrast, no major changes have been observed in the lower tropics. It is also seen that the variant delta And omicron Appeared in late or early winter in India and South Africa, respectively. , By studying the molecular modifications of viruses more deeply, we may be able to detect mutations that occur earlier in the future and develop new vaccines. “, Hope study authors.

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