The next pandemic could come from melting glaciers, new data show.

New data suggests that the next pandemic may come not from bats or birds, but from material from melting ice. Genetic analysis of soil and lake sediments in Lake Hazen, the world’s largest Arctic freshwater lake, suggests a risk of virus shedding. Where the virus first infects a new host – it could be closer to a melting glacier The findings suggest that as global temperatures rise due to climate change, viruses and bacteria trapped in glaciers and permafrost are reawakening, for example, in northern Siberia in 2016. The outbreak of anthrax, which killed children and infected at least seven people, was due to heatwaves that melted permafrost and exposed infected people. reindeer carcass. Prior to that, the last outbreak in the region was in 1941. To better understand the risks posed by frozen viruses, Stefan Aris-Brosu and his colleagues at the University of Ottawa, Canada, collected soil and sediment samples close to Lake Heizen. Small, medium and large amounts of melt water were introduced from local glaciers. Next, they sequenced RNA and DNA from these samples to identify traits that closely matched those of known viruses as well as potential animal, plant, or fungal hosts and ran the following algorithm. We evaluated the potential of these viruses to infect groups of unrelated organisms. A study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B found that the risk of virus escaping to a new host was higher at locations close to where large amounts of glacial melt flowed in. The situation becomes more likely as the climate warms. The team has not quantified the number of previously unknown viruses it has identified. For the next few months – they haven’t evaluated whether this virus can cause infection. However, other recent studies have suggested that an unknown virus can and may roam on glaciers. For example, last year, researchers at Ohio State University in the US announced that they had found the genetic material of 33 viruses, 28 of which were new, in ice samples taken from the Tibetan Plateau in China. Depending on the location, the age of the virus is estimated to be about 15,000 years. In 2014, scientists at the French National Center for Scientific Research in Aix-Marseille revived a giant virus isolated from permafrost in Siberia and reinfected it for the first time. 30,000 years of time. The study’s author, Jean-Michel Claverie, told the BBC at the time that exposing these layers of ice could be a “shortcut to disaster”. Archie Bland and Nimo Omer provide a free guide to key articles and their meanings every weekday morning. Privacy Notice: Newsletters may contain information about charitable organizations, online advertising and externally funded content. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information. We use Google reCaptcha to protect our website and are subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. However, Aris-Brosou’s team warns that predicting a high risk of a leak is not the same as predicting an actual leak or an epidemic. I did. “Unless the virus and its ‘leg vectors’ are present simultaneously in the environment, the likelihood of a dramatic event will still be low,” they wrote. Bringing a new host into contact with an ancient virus or bacteria. We can confidently say that the risk of spillage in this particular environment is increasing as the temperature rises,” said Aris-Brosou. “Will this lead to an epidemic? We have no idea.” It is also unclear whether the host-switching potential identified in Lake Hazen is unique within lake sediments, says Arwyn Edwards, director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Environmental Microbiology at the University of Aberystwyth, “All we know is that “It could be the same host-switching potential that takes place.” To understand these risks in context, we urgently need to explore the global microbial world,” he said. “Now, two things are very clear. , the Arctic is warming rapidly and the major risk to humanity is its climate impact. Second, diseases from other sources are entering the Arctic’s vulnerable communities and ecosystems.”
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