Since the first reports of novel pneumonia (COVID-19) in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, there has been considerable discussion on the origin of the causative virus, SARS-CoV-2 (also referred to as HCoV-19).
Infections with SARS-CoV-2 are now widespread, and as of 17 March 2020, 190,664 cases have been confirmed in more than 155 countries, with 7,519 deaths.
SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans; SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 can cause severe disease, whereas HKU1, NL63, OC43 and 229E are associated with mild symptoms.
In this paper it’s reviewed what can be deduced about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 from comparative analysis of genomic data and offered a perspective on the notable features of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and discussed scenarios by which they could have arisen.
Analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.