As almost everyone has heard already there is a new coronavirus named 2019-nCoV which originated in the city of Wuhan in China. This new virus already infected over 5000 people and caused over 100 deaths. While indeed the strain is highly virulent and spreads more than twice faster than flue, the mortality rate is far from high. Whether the virus was transmitted to humans by bats, snakes, or bat-eating snakes is still a matter of discussion.
What is known is that the genetic evidence shows that the 2019-nCoV shares about 80% similarity to the SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus), which caused an outbreak in Asia between November 2002 and July 2003. The interesting part is that the 2019-nCoV shares similarities with several other coronaviruses that are known to infect bats. This has led to speculations (and not without merit to them) that the new 2019-nCoV could be the result of recombination between human and bat coronaviruses. This could have happened when bat coronaviruses were introduced into the organism of people who were already infected with a human coronavirus (most likely SARS-CoV). When the two different viruses infect the same cells and start to multiply in them, often an exchange of genetic material (recombination) can occur between them, leading to new viral strains. The exact manner of how the new virus came to be will surely be tracked down very soon. In the meantime, Gentaur took up the task and brought to the stage the most secure and highly sensitive method to detect the new strain – a Real Time Multiplex Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (Real Multiplex RT-PCR) kit for 2019-nCoV.