Genomic studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 is part of the Betacoronavirus group and genetically similar to the virus behind the 2002-2003 SARS pandemic. Bats are a Betacoronavirus reservoir and palm civets might have been an intermediary before the first human SARS-CoV infections, so these species have also sparked interest among researchers exploring COVID-19. However, evidence has also pointed to pangolins as a possible source of the zoonosis, and findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 could turn out to be a recombinant strain that draws from a bat Betacoronavirus and a coronavirus found in pangolins.
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