Virology: Current Research

ISSN: 2736-657X

Open Access

Footprints of Past Pandemics in the Human Genome


N Chandra Wickramasinghe*, Edward J. Steele, Daryl H. Wallis, Milton Wainwright, Gensuke Tokoro, Herbert Rebhan, Reginald M Gorczynski and Robert Temple

Viral pandemics over centuries and millennia have left indelible signatures on our genomes. Deciphering these signatures could give us profoundly important information on our evolutionary history that appears to have been directed by the arrival of new viruses from the deep cosmos. A recent study that shows a residual signature of SARS-CoV-2 (in the form of multiple generational expression of host-specific SARS-CoV targeting viral interacting proteins known as VIPs) in the genomes of a South Asian population suggests that a major COVID-19 type infectious episode may have occurred about 25,000 years ago. The need to monitor the stratosphere for the arrival of new pathogenic viruses, or even the return of old viruses such as Small Pox, is stressed.


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