Understanding the origin of COVID-19 requires to change the paradigm on zoonotic emergence from the spillover to the circulation model.

Infection, Genetics and Evolution : Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Genetics in Infectious Diseases
Roger FrutosChristian A Devaux


While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread with currently more than 117 million cumulated cases and 2.6 million deaths worldwide as per March 2021, its origin is still debated. Although several hypotheses have been proposed, there is still no clear explanation about how its causative agent, SARS-CoV-2, emerged in human populations. Today, scientifically-valid facts that deserve to be debated still coexist with unverified statements blurring thus the knowledge on the origin of COVID-19. Our retrospective analysis of scientific data supports the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 is indeed a naturally occurring virus. However, the spillover model considered today as the main explanation to zoonotic emergence does not match the virus dynamics and somehow misguided the way researches were conducted. We conclude this review by proposing a change of paradigm and model and introduce the circulation model for explaining the various aspects of the dynamic of SARS-CoV-2 emergence in humans.


Mar 11, 1982·Nature·R G WebsterG C Schild
Apr 6, 1995·Nature·A M KriegD M Klinman
Jan 22, 2004·Lancet·Jonathan Watts
Mar 20, 2004·Emerging Infectious Diseases·Bo Jian ZhengShui Shan Lee
Mar 27, 2004·Nature Reviews. Microbiology·Dimiter S Dimitrov
Mar 27, 2004·The New England Journal of Medicine·Dongping XuFu-Sheng Wang
Jun 4, 2004·Lancet·Jonathan Watts
Nov 13, 2004·The American Naturalist·Alison G Power, Charles E Mitchell
Feb 8, 2005·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Huai-Dong SongGuo-Ping Zhao
Dec 13, 2005·The Journal of Biological Chemistry·I-Chueh HuangHyeryun Choe
Nov 28, 2008·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Michelle M BeckerMark R Denison
Aug 18, 2012·Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses·Tomás VegaBaltazar Nunes
Jun 21, 2013·PLoS Pathogens·Matthew Hartfield, Samuel Alizon
Apr 1, 2015·Virology·Raul Andino, Esteban Domingo
Jul 28, 2016·Physics of Life Reviews·Gerardo ChowellCécile Viboud
Sep 3, 2016·PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases·Giovanni Lo IaconoJames L N Wood
May 31, 2017·Nature Reviews. Microbiology·Raina K PlowrightJames O Lloyd-Smith
Nov 22, 2017·Journal of Biological Dynamics·Wayne M Getz, Eric R Dougherty
Feb 24, 2018·Science·Dennis CarrollJonna A K Mazet
Apr 27, 2018·Frontiers in Microbiology·Aneta AfeltChristian Devaux
Aug 14, 2019·Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences·Benny BorremansJames O Lloyd-Smith
Aug 14, 2019·Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences·Paul C CrossKim M Pepin
Sep 21, 2019·The Lancet Global Health·Olga Jonas, Richard Seifman
Dec 6, 2019·Journal of Virology·Vineet D MenacheryRalph S Baric
Jan 18, 2020·Journal of Medical Virology·Hongzhou LuYi-Wei Tang
Jan 23, 2020·Journal of Medical Virology·Wei JiXingguang Li
Jan 25, 2020·The New England Journal of Medicine·Na ZhuUNKNOWN China Novel Coronavirus Investigating and Research Team
Feb 1, 2020·Infection, Genetics and Evolution : Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Genetics in Infectious Diseases·D ParaskevisS Tsiodras
Feb 15, 2020·Emerging Microbes & Infections·Chuan XiaoFeng Gao
Feb 26, 2020·Journal of Medical Virology·Alessia LaiGianguglielmo Zehender

❮ Previous
Next ❯


May 26, 2021·Transboundary and Emerging Diseases·Christian SelbachKim N Mouritsen
Jul 13, 2021·Environmental Research·Roger FrutosChristian Devaux
Jul 27, 2021·New Microbes and New Infections·R FrutosC A Devaux
Oct 8, 2021·Frontiers in Microbiology·Christian A DevauxRoger Frutos

❮ Previous
Next ❯

Software Mentioned


Related Concepts

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.


Blastomycosis fungal infections spread through inhaling Blastomyces dermatitidis spores. Discover the latest research on blastomycosis fungal infections here.

Nuclear Pore Complex in ALS/FTD

Alterations in nucleocytoplasmic transport, controlled by the nuclear pore complex, may be involved in the pathomechanism underlying multiple neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia. Here is the latest research on the nuclear pore complex in ALS and FTD.

Applications of Molecular Barcoding

The concept of molecular barcoding is that each original DNA or RNA molecule is attached to a unique sequence barcode. Sequence reads having different barcodes represent different original molecules, while sequence reads having the same barcode are results of PCR duplication from one original molecule. Discover the latest research on molecular barcoding here.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.

Evolution of Pluripotency

Pluripotency refers to the ability of a cell to develop into three primary germ cell layers of the embryo. This feed focuses on the mechanisms that underlie the evolution of pluripotency. Here is the latest research.

Position Effect Variegation

Position Effect Variagation occurs when a gene is inactivated due to its positioning near heterochromatic regions within a chromosome. Discover the latest research on Position Effect Variagation here.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.


Microbicides are products that can be applied to vaginal or rectal mucosal surfaces with the goal of preventing, or at least significantly reducing, the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Here is the latest research on microbicides.

Related Papers

New Microbes and New Infections
Roger FrutosChristian A Devaux
Peng Zhou, Zheng-Li Shi
Genetics and Molecular Biology
Joel Henrique Ellwanger, José Artur Bogo Chies
Le infezioni in medicina : rivista periodica di eziologia, epidemiologia, diagnostica, clinica e terapia delle patologie infettive
Ali A. RabaanKuldeep Dhama
© 2021 Meta ULC. All rights reserved