May 16, 2020
A prime suspect in the ‘wet market’ coronavirus origin theory was just given a pass, after a peer-reviewed study found that the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, could not have jumped from pangolins to humans.
As a refresher, SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19 in humans, is 96% identical to a coronavirus strain found in bats known as RaTG13 – which was incidentally collected in a cave in Yunnan, China by scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
On its own, RaTG13 cannot infect humans, however SARS-CoV-2 has a ‘receptor binding motif’ (RBM) which is identical to a pangolin strain of coronavirus – stoking speculation that pangolins were an intermediary species, or ‘reservoir’ between RaTG13 and SARS-CoV-2 (despite the fact that pangolins weren’t sold at the wet market).
That theory has just been disproven by a team of researchers in Guangdong, China.
The outbreak of a novel corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the city of Wuhan, China has resulted in more than 1.7 million laboratory confirmed cases all over the world. Recent studies showed that SARS-CoV-2 was likely originated from bats, but its intermediate hosts are still largely unknown. In this study, we assembled the complete genome of a coronavirus identified in 3 sick Malayan pangolins. The molecular and phylogenetic analyses showed that this pangolin coronavirus (pangolin-CoV-2020) is genetically related to the SARS-CoV-2 as well as a group of bat coronaviruses but do not support the SARS-CoV-2 emerged directly from the pangolin-CoV-2020.
Which leaves us with the following leading theories as to the origins of SARS-CoV-2:
Read the peer-reviewed study below:
This article was posted: Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 6:14 am