07 April 2021

Novel coronavirus discovered in British bats

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    Biological Sciences Research

    Our researchers have discovered a novel coronavirus in British bats for the first time.

    There is no evidence that this novel virus has been transmitted to humans, or that it could in future, unless it mutates.

    The discovery was made after UEA undergraduate student Ivana Murphy collected bat droppings from more than 50 lesser horseshoe bats in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wales, as part of her final year research dissertation.

    They were sent for viral analysis at Public Health England, where genome sequencing found a novel coronavirus in one of the bat samples, which the team have named ‘RhGB01’.

    Ivana said: “I chose to study ecology at UEA as I have a passion for trying to protect and conserve nature. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by so many experts in their fields, which has allowed me access to resources that many undergraduates wouldn’t have. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to conduct such an advanced study.”

    Due to the rapid response nature of this research, it has not yet been peer reviewed.

     

    Read more in our press release which features a Q&A and an interview with UEA student Ivana Murphy.

    Read the research paper article on Research Square.

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