“Scientifically, it doesn’t show that raccoon canines have been the supply, nevertheless it certain smells like contaminated raccoon canines have been on the market,” stated Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State College Well being Sciences Middle Shreveport.
He added, “It raises extra questions on what the Chinese language authorities actually is aware of.”
Scientists cautioned that it was not clear that the genetic materials from the virus and from raccoon canines had been deposited on the similar time.
Relying on the soundness of genetic materials from the virus and the animals, stated Michael Imperiale, a virologist on the College of Michigan, “they might have been deposited there at probably broadly totally different instances.”
Nonetheless, Dr. Arturo Casadevall, an immunologist on the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Faculty of Public Well being who co-authored a latest research with Dr. Imperiale inspecting the origin of the coronavirus, stated that linking animal and viral materials nonetheless added to the proof of a pure spillover occasion.
“I’d say it strengthens the zoonotic thought,” he stated, “that’s, the concept that it got here from an animal on the market.”
Within the absence of the particular animal that first unfold the virus to individuals, Dr. Casadevall stated, assessing the origins of an outbreak would all the time contain weighing possibilities. On this case, animals offered on the market have been eliminated earlier than researchers started taking samples in early 2020, making it unattainable to discover a perpetrator.
Tim Stearns, the dean of graduate and postgraduate research on the Rockefeller College in New York, stated that the newest discovering was “an fascinating piece of the puzzle,” although he stated it was “not in itself definitive and highlights the necessity for a extra thorough investigation.”