A novel SARS-CoV-2 related coronavirus in bats from Cambodia

Deborah Delaune, Vibol Hul, Erik A. Karlsson, Alexandre Hassanin, Tey Putita Ou, Artem Baidaliuk, Fabiana Gámbaro, Matthieu Prot, Vuong Tan Tu, Sokha Chea, Lucy Keatts, Jonna Mazet, Christine K Johnson, Philippe Buchy, Philippe Dussart, Tracey Goldstein, Etienne Simon-Lorière, Veasna Duong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowledge of the origin and reservoir of the coronavirus responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is still fragmentary. To date, the closest relatives to SARS-CoV-2 have been detected in Rhinolophus bats sampled in the Yunnan province, China. Here we describe the identification of SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses in two Rhinolophus shameli bats sampled in Cambodia in 2010. Metagenomic sequencing identifies nearly identical viruses sharing 92.6% nucleotide identity with SARS-CoV-2. Most genomic regions are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, with the exception of a region of the spike, which is not compatible with human ACE2-mediated entry. The discovery of these viruses in a bat species not found in China indicates that SARS-CoV-2 related viruses have a much wider geographic distribution than previously reported, and suggests that Southeast Asia represents a key area to consider for future surveillance for coronaviruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6563
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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