Possible Bat Origin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2

Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Jul;26(7):1542-1547. doi: 10.3201/eid2607.200092. Epub 2020 Jun 21.


We showed that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is probably a novel recombinant virus. Its genome is closest to that of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronaviruses from horseshoe bats, and its receptor-binding domain is closest to that of pangolin viruses. Its origin and direct ancestral viruses have not been identified.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; bats; coronavirus disease; genomic analysis; recombinant virus; recombination; respiratory infections; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; viruses; zoonoses.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Betacoronavirus / classification
  • Betacoronavirus / genetics
  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Chiroptera / virology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • SARS-CoV-2