While the scientists across the world are scrambling to find the origin of the deadly COVID-19 virus, a new study claimed that ‘stray dogs‘ are responsible for the transmission of coronavirus from animal hosts to humans.
According to a study published in the Molecular Biology and Evolution journal, the deadly coronavirus has been transmitted to humans by stray dogs that ate bat meat.
“Our observations have allowed the formation of a new hypothesis for the origin and initial transmission of SARS-CoV-2,” said Xuhua Xia, Study Researcher from the University of Ottawa in Canada.
“The ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and its nearest relative, a bat coronavirus, infected the intestine of canids, most likely resulting in the rapid evolution of the virus in canids and its jump into humans,” exclaimed Xia.
The study suggests that the COVID-19 disease has rapidly evolved in the digestive system of dogs that ate bats carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
During the research, the scientists have examined all 1252 full-length betacoronavirus genomes deposited into GenBank till date.[ALSO READ: Coronavirus: Overview, Symptoms, Precautions and Live Updates]
Xio found that the genomes from canine coronaviruses (CCoVs) that caused a highly contagious intestinal disease in dogs worldwide, have genomic CpG values similar to SARS-CoV-2 genomes.
These findings reveal that the coronavirus’ key target is the mammalian digestive system.
“This is consistent with the interpretation that the low CpG in SARS-CoV-2 was acquired by the ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 evolving in mammalian digestive systems and interpretation is further corroborated by a recent report that a high proportion of COVID-19 patients also suffer from digestive discomfort,” said Xia.
Ever since the coronavirus outbreak in China, the global countries are grappling to find the species of origin to know how the deadly virus has leapt from its animal hosts to humans.
So far, the coronavirus has spread to 210 countries and territories and infected 2,091,515 people while claiming 135,230 lives.[ALSO READ: Global Death Toll Tops 134K, Infections Nearly 2.1 Million]