Metagenomic identification of a new sarbecovirus from horseshoe bats in Europe

Crook, Jack, Murphy, Ivana, Carter, Daniel, Pullan, Steven, Carroll, Miles, Vipond, Richard, Cunningham, Andrew and Bell, Diana (2021) Metagenomic identification of a new sarbecovirus from horseshoe bats in Europe. Scientific Reports, 11. ISSN 2045-2322

[thumbnail of Published_Version]
PDF (Published_Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (5MB) | Preview


The source of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown, but the natural host of the progenitor sarbecovirus is thought to be Asian horseshoe (rhinolophid) bats. We identified and sequenced a novel sarbecovirus (RhGB01) from a British horseshoe bat, at the western extreme of the rhinolophid range. Our results extend both the geographic and species ranges of sarbecoviruses and suggest their presence throughout the horseshoe bat distribution. Within the spike protein receptor binding domain, but excluding the receptor binding motif, RhGB01 has a 77% (SARS-CoV-2) and 81% (SARS-CoV) amino acid homology. While apparently lacking hACE2 binding ability, and hence unlikely to be zoonotic without mutation, RhGB01 presents opportunity for SARS-CoV-2 and other sarbecovirus homologous recombination. Our findings highlight that the natural distribution of sarbecoviruses and opportunities for recombination through intermediate host co-infection are underestimated. Preventing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to bats is critical with the current global mass vaccination campaign against this virus.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2021 00:09
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 02:46
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-94011-z


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item