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Genomic study of Covid19 corona virus excludes its origin from recombination or characterized biological sources and suggests a role for hervs in its wide range symptoms

Ahmed M. El-Shehawi, Saqer S. Alotaibi, Mona M. Elseehy


The COVID-19 corona virus has become a world pandemic which started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China with no confirmed biological source. Various countries reported the genomic sequence of different isolates obtained from infected patients. This allowed us to obtain a number of 38 isolates of full genomic sequences. Alignment of nucleotide (nt) sequence was carried out using Clustal Omega multiple alignment service at the EBI website. Alignment of nt sequence and phylogenetic relationship revealed that the COVID-19 is a new viral strain and its biological source has not been yet detected. The expected orf pattern was different among isolates obtained from the same country or different countries as well as from SARS-CoV isolates or bats CoV suggesting different virus human interaction possibilities during infection and severity. All isolates had the main five orfs (1ab, S, M, N, E), whereas they differed in the expected accessory orfs. Being with the biological source of COVID-19 undetected, the role of human endogenous retrovirus (HERVs) in the regulation of the host cell gene expression or the encoding for products that could modulate COVID-19 infection and the spectrum of its symptoms is discussed.

Key words: COVID-19, genome, nucleotide sequence alignment, Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs)

Tsitologiya i Genetika 2020, vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 75-78

  1. Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences, Taif University, 888 Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  2. Department of Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Alexandria, Alexandria 21527, Egypt

E-mail: elshehawi, saqer-20, monaahmedma

Ahmed M. El-Shehawi, Saqer S. Alotaibi, Mona M. Elseehy Genomic study of Covid19 corona virus excludes its origin from recombination or characterized biological sources and suggests a role for hervs in its wide range symptoms, Tsitol Genet., 2020, vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 75-78.

In "Cytology and Genetics":
Ahmed M. El-Shehawi, Saqer S. Alotaibi & Mona M. Elseehy Genomic Study of COVID-19 Corona Virus Excludes Its Origin from Recombination or Characterized Biological Sources and Suggests a Role for HERVS in Its Wide Range Symptoms, Cytol Genet., 2020, vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 588604
DOI: 10.3103/S0095452720060031


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