The provenance of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is one of the most important questions for members of the scientific community working on the subject. However, the track of the laboratory accident is currently still part of the hypotheses to explain its origin.
A still unknown intermediate host of the covid second wave
The second wave of the Covid-19 epidemic is currently hitting Europe and the vaccine race is accelerating. However, the mystery of the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has still not been solved. An article published by the CNRS Journal on October 27, 2020, gives the floor to Étienne Decroly, virologist and research director at the CNRS. The person concerned mentioned the various existing hypotheses.
Remember that SARS-CoV-2 is – over the past twenty years – the third coronavirus responsible for severe respiratory syndrome affecting humans. These include SARS-CoV (2003) and MERS-CoV (2012). Circulating mainly in bats, the coronavirus is sometimes subject to zoonotic transfer. Today, SARS-CoV-2 is widely distributed in humans and it is incumbent on shedding light on the reason (s) for it to become a zoonosis.
Currently, the scientific community believes that SARS-CoV-2 comes from bats. On the other hand, Étienne Decroly recalls that Science has not demonstrated any direct transmission from bats to humans. It should therefore be transmitted via an intermediate host. At the start of the pandemic, some researchers thought of the pangolin before abandoning this trail.
Consider the risks associated with laboratories
Since this intermediate host remains a mystery, the laboratory accident hypothesis is still relevant today. The same goes for the possibility that the coronavirus is of synthetic origin. Étienne Decroly also recalls that the 2003 SARS-CoV had left the experimental laboratories at least four times. The person concerned calls for a critical reflection on the tools and methods of virus reconstruction currently at work in research laboratories.
You should know that today, most laboratories can synthesize a genetic sequence and thus produce a virus in just a few weeks. Obviously, international standards govern the work of laboratories about viruses with pandemic potential. Nevertheless, accidents can happen and it would be wise to question the danger of the experiments.
In April 2020, we mentioned a survey conducted by the United States on the P4 laboratory of the Institute of Virology in Wuhan (China). This investigation followed suspicions of a possible escape of the virus. Patient zero could have been an employee of the institute who unknowingly disseminated the pathogen in this Chinese city.