COVID-19: Epidemiology, Evolution, and Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives

Trends Mol Med. 2020 May;26(5):483-495. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2020.02.008. Epub 2020 Mar 21.


The recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan turned into a public health emergency of international concern. With no antiviral drugs nor vaccines, and the presence of carriers without obvious symptoms, traditional public health intervention measures are significantly less effective. Here, we report the epidemiological and virological characteristics of the COVID-19 outbreak. Originated in bats, 2019-nCoV/ severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2 likely experienced adaptive evolution in intermediate hosts before transfer to humans at a concentrated source of transmission. Similarities of receptor sequence binding to 2019-nCoV between humans and animals suggest a low species barrier for transmission of the virus to farm animals. We propose, based on the One Health model, that veterinarians and animal specialists should be involved in a cross-disciplinary collaboration in the fight against this epidemic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Betacoronavirus* / genetics
  • COVID-19
  • Chiroptera / virology
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Coronavirus Infections / veterinary*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology*
  • Receptors, Virus / genetics
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Receptors, Virus