There seems to be a bit of a conspiracy theory brewing over some data in the NCBI database, and I don't have the necessary knowledge to make sense of it.
It basically goes like this:
- Go to NCBI BLAST
- Click on the big Protein BLAST button
- Enter AVP78033 in the main search box and click BLAST
- Click on the first result that shows a 100% match and click "See 5 more title(s)" in the first entry
This shows that the search is a complete match for a Bat SARS-like coronavirus protein from a 2018 research paper, for Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus (which the NCIS site indicates is an alias for 2019-nCoV), and for Bat coronavirus from 29 Jan 2020.
My question is - why would a protein from Bat SARS-like coronavirus and 2019-nCoV be showing up as a perfect match for one another? Does this mean that 2019-nCoV might actually be a previously-discovered coronavirus that very recently started infecting humans? Or could it be that a recently collected sample from Wuhan was mis-identified as 2019-nCoV when it is actually the same coronavirus from the 2018 submission?
Clicking around the links on that site seem to bring up dozens of similar but different pages that I don't have the knowledge to distinguish, but the Accession column from the search results described above contains a link to this page, which says that it is a provisional refseq and acknowledges that it is identical to the bat coronavirus:
PROVISIONAL REFSEQ: This record has not yet been subject to final NCBI review. The reference sequence is identical to QHD43418. Annotation was added using homology to SARSr-CoV NC_004718.3.
Can somebody who actually understands these things please make sense of this?