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.

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Holmes, E., Goldstein, S., Rasmussen, A., Robertson, D., Crits-Christoph, A., Wertheim, J., Anthony, S., Barclay, W., Boni, M., Doherty, P., Farrar, J., Geoghegan, J., Jiang, X., Leibowitz, J., Neil, S., Skern, T., Weiss, S., Worobey, M., Andersen, K., Garry, R. & Rambaut, A. 2021, 'The origins of SARS-CoV-2: A critical review', Cell, 184(19), pp. 4848-4856. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.08.017

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Last updated: 29 July 2022
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