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Science ; 377(6609): 951-959, 2022 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1962061


Understanding how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in 2019 is critical to preventing future zoonotic outbreaks before they become the next pandemic. The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China, was identified as a likely source of cases in early reports, but later this conclusion became controversial. We show here that the earliest known COVID-19 cases from December 2019, including those without reported direct links, were geographically centered on this market. We report that live SARS-CoV-2-susceptible mammals were sold at the market in late 2019 and that within the market, SARS-CoV-2-positive environmental samples were spatially associated with vendors selling live mammals. Although there is insufficient evidence to define upstream events, and exact circumstances remain obscure, our analyses indicate that the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 occurred through the live wildlife trade in China and show that the Huanan market was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Seafood , Viral Zoonoses , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , China/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seafood/virology , Viral Zoonoses/epidemiology , Viral Zoonoses/transmission , Viral Zoonoses/virology
J Exp Med ; 219(2)2022 02 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593236


Emerging viruses threaten global health, but few experimental models can characterize the virus and host factors necessary for within- and cross-species transmission. Here, we leverage a model whereby pet store mice or rats-which harbor natural rodent pathogens-are cohoused with laboratory mice. This "dirty" mouse model offers a platform for studying acute transmission of viruses between and within hosts via natural mechanisms. We identified numerous viruses and other microbial species that transmit to cohoused mice, including prospective new members of the Coronaviridae, Astroviridae, Picornaviridae, and Narnaviridae families, and uncovered pathogen interactions that promote or prevent virus transmission. We also evaluated transmission dynamics of murine astroviruses during transmission and spread within a new host. Finally, by cohousing our laboratory mice with the bedding of pet store rats, we identified cross-species transmission of a rat astrovirus. Overall, this model system allows for the analysis of transmission of natural rodent viruses and is a platform to further characterize barriers to zoonosis.

Disease Models, Animal , Disease Susceptibility , Virus Diseases/etiology , Virus Diseases/transmission , Animal Diseases/transmission , Animal Diseases/virology , Animals , Biomarkers , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Microbial Interactions , Rodentia , Virus Diseases/metabolism
Cell ; 184(19): 4848-4856, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363914


Since the first reports of a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronavirus in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, there has been intense interest in understanding how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in the human population. Recent debate has coalesced around two competing ideas: a "laboratory escape" scenario and zoonotic emergence. Here, we critically review the current scientific evidence that may help clarify the origin of SARS-CoV-2.

SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Biological Evolution , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Laboratories , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Zoonoses/virology