The origins of SARS-CoV-2: A critical review

Edward C. Holmes*, Stephen A. Goldstein, Angela L. Rasmussen, David L. Robertson, Alexander Crits-Christoph, Joel O. Wertheim, Simon J. Anthony, Wendy S. Barclay, Maciej F. Boni, Peter C. Doherty, Jeremy Farrar, Jemma L. Geoghegan, Xiaowei Jiang, Julian L. Leibowitz, Stuart J.D. Neil, Tim Skern, Susan R. Weiss, Michael Worobey, Kristian G. Andersen, Robert F. GarryAndrew Rambaut*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

293 Citations (Scopus)


Since the first reports of a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronavirus in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, there has been intense interest in understanding how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in the human population. Recent debate has coalesced around two competing ideas: a “laboratory escape” scenario and zoonotic emergence. Here, we critically review the current scientific evidence that may help clarify the origin of SARS-CoV-2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4848-4856
Number of pages9
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2021


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • evolution
  • origins
  • zoonosis


Dive into the research topics of 'The origins of SARS-CoV-2: A critical review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this