New DNA evidence suggests Covid-19 may have started in raccoon dogs

New DNA evidence suggests Covid-19 may have started in raccoon dogs

Raccoon canine (Nyctereutes procyonoides) have beforehand been discovered to be inclined to SARS-CoV-2 and have the power to unfold it.

Michael Breuer

The long-running debate over the origins of COVID-19 took one other flip this week as a French scientist seen that genetic sequences put right into a database by Chinese language researchers prompt that the one chargeable for the coronavirus could have come from animals reminiscent of raccoon canine in Huanan. . Seafood Market in Wuhan.

Inside days, the sequences have been eliminated by the identical researchers – however another scientists have been capable of pre-download them and are investigating additional.

“The quick availability of all information on how this epidemic began is actually essential.” Maria Van Kerkhove He stated at a press convention on the World Well being Group (WHO) on March 17.

“There are a number of hypotheses that have to be examined, together with how the virus entered the human inhabitants from a bat, by way of an intermediate host, or by way of a biosecurity breach from a laboratory. And we do not have a definitive reply.”

The Huanan market has lengthy been considered as a potential supply of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as a lot of the first instances of covid-19 in December 2019 have been in folks with ties to it, and a quantity have been bought over-the-counter. dwell and lifeless animals, not simply seafood.

Though they haven’t but been discovered with SARS-CoV-2, the unique host of SARS-CoV-2 is considered bats, as they carry many coronaviruses. The ancestor of this virus could have unfold from bats to an intermediate host bought out there and from there to people.

An alternate rationalization is that the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the place researchers are recognized to review bat coronaviruses, not SARS-CoV-2. Whereas this can be a much less favored opinion amongst scientists, in February the U.S. Division of Power stated it was the more than likely rationalization, however didn’t publish supporting proof.

Now, genetic sequences uploaded to a world virology database known as GISAID by the Chinese language Middle for Illness Management and Prevention could have shed extra gentle on the origin of SARS-CoV-2. These arrays have been obtained from swabs taken from numerous surfaces available on the market in early 2020 after closure.

they have been seen by Florence Debarre It is on the French Nationwide Middle for Scientific Analysis, which shared its findings with WHO on March 14. “After I logged in, I used to be specializing in market ranks, however I did not look forward to finding the information I discovered,” Débarre says.

Débarre declined to say something extra till his evaluation was full, however Van Kerkhove stated on the press convention: “Among the many samples that have been constructive for SARS-CoV-2, they noticed proof of the DNA of the animals. A few of these animals embrace raccoon canine.”

raccoon canine (Nyctereutes procyonoides) was beforehand discovered to be inclined to SARS-CoV-2 and have the power to unfold it. “We all know they’re good at carrying it,” he says. Alice Hughes on the College of Hong Kong.

This doesn’t show that raccoon canine or different animals available on the market have been contaminated with the virus in December 2019, and such proof is now not possible to search out, Hughes says.

Jonathan Stoye On the Francis Crick Institute in London, Dr. That is one other hyperlink within the chain you’d anticipate to see if the pandemic began like this.”

Primarily based on the knowledge shared by Débarre, Van Kerkhove stated that WHO has requested the Chinese language Middle for Illness Management and Prevention to republish the genetic information. “The primary downside is that this information exists and isn’t simply out there to the worldwide neighborhood, it goes with out saying that it ought to have been introduced years in the past.”


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