Coronavirus came through stray dogs, says new study

The origin of corona virus is still mysterious, just like a treatment. Many scientists have been trying to unravel this mystery. Many suggested different sources. The story, now more accepted, is that it came from bats. Bats are known for different deadly viruses.

And someone in the now famous Huanan seafood market of Wuhan got infected. Pangolins, just like Wuhan, also hit headlines as an intermediary before the virus spread to humans. Some even pointed fingers at snakes. Still the truth is not established.

Now University of Ottawa biology professor Xuhua Xia claims that it came from stray dogs, specifically dog intestines.

“Our observations have allowed the formation of a new hypothesis for the origin and initial transmission of SARS-CoV-2,” said Xia. “The ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and its nearest relative, a bat coronavirus, infected the intestine of canids, most likely resulting in a rapid evolution of the virus in canids and its jump into humans. This suggests the importance of monitoring SARS-like coronaviruses in feral dogs in the fight against SARS-CoV-2.”

Xia has long-studied the molecular signatures of viruses in different hosts. When viruses invade a host, their genomes often bear the battle scars from fighting off and evading the host’s immune system through changes and adaptations found within their genomes.

To perform the study, Xia examined all 1252 full-length betacoronavirus genomes deposited into GenBank to date. Xia found that SARS-CoV-2 and its most closely related known relative, a bat coronavirus (BatCoV RaTG13), have the lowest amount of CpG among its close coronavirus relatives.


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