Host Diversity and Potential Transmission Pathways of SARS-CoV-2 at the Human-Animal Interface.

Hayden D HedmanCsaba Varga


Emerging infectious diseases present great risks to public health. The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has become an urgent public health issue of global concern. It is speculated that the virus first emerged through a zoonotic spillover. Basic research studies have suggested that bats are likely the ancestral reservoir host. Nonetheless, the evolutionary history and host susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2 remains unclear as a multitude of animals has been proposed as potential intermediate or dead-end hosts. SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated from domestic animals, both companion and livestock, as well as in captive wildlife that were in close contact with human COVID-19 cases. Currently, domestic mink is the only known animal that is susceptible to a natural infection, develop severe illness, and can also transmit SARS-CoV-2 to other minks and humans. To improve foundational knowledge of SARS-CoV-2, we are conducting a synthesis review of its host diversity and transmission pathways. To mitigate this COVID-19 pandemic, we strongly advocate for a systems-oriented scientific approach that comprehensively evaluates the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at the human an...Continue Reading


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