Human coronaviruses part 50



Bats are likely natural reservoirs of MERS-CoV or an ancestral MERS-like CoV. It is hypothesized that bat MERS-like CoV jumped to camels or some other as yet unidentified animal several decades ago. The virus evolved and adapted with accumulating  mutations in camels and then was transmitted to humans very recently.  It took almost a decade from the first discovery of SL-CoV in bats to the final isolation of the SARS-CoV ancestral virus  from bats, so continuing surveillance is vital to uncover the origin of MERS-CoV and  bats should certainly be a priority of research.

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