Preprint Short Note Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Abnormal Nature of the Fecal Swab Sample used for NGS Analysis of RaTG13 Genome Sequence Imposes a Question on the Correctness of the RaTG13 Sequence

Version 1 : Received: 7 August 2020 / Approved: 8 August 2020 / Online: 8 August 2020 (06:19:45 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 8 August 2020 / Approved: 11 August 2020 / Online: 11 August 2020 (08:06:32 CEST)

How to cite: Rahalkar, M.; Bahulikar, R. The Abnormal Nature of the Fecal Swab Sample used for NGS Analysis of RaTG13 Genome Sequence Imposes a Question on the Correctness of the RaTG13 Sequence . Preprints 2020, 2020080205 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0205.v1). Rahalkar, M.; Bahulikar, R. The Abnormal Nature of the Fecal Swab Sample used for NGS Analysis of RaTG13 Genome Sequence Imposes a Question on the Correctness of the RaTG13 Sequence . Preprints 2020, 2020080205 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0205.v1).

Abstract

RaTG13 is the next relative of SARS-CoV-2 derived from bat feces. The Illumina based NGS sequence of RaTG13 MN996532.1 was deposited on 27th Jan 2020 and the raw data, a little later on 13th Feb 2020 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sra/SRX7724752[accn]. The fecal swab sample shows abnormally high reads from eukaryotes which includes not only bats but other animals, as per the NCBI site. Also, comparison of the fecal swab to other bat fecal swabs deposited by the same group on the same date indicates that the fecal swab from which RaTG13 sequence was derived looked abnormal. The proportion of bacteria in this RNA Seq project was only 0.7% in contrast to 70-90% abundance in other fecal swabs from bats. Also, the amplicon sequencing done on the same sample showed large number of gaps and inconsistencies. This poses a question on the authenticity of the RaTG13 sequence also.

Subject Areas

RaTG13; SARS-COV-2; Illumina sequencing; amplicon sequencing; NGS; fecal swab

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