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The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut looks at the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 from the perspective of animal health and the possible role of animals in the process. The focus is on food-producing animals.

Recent studies (Link Nature Publication) indicate that SARS-CoV-2 originates from bats. In bats, viruses that are transmissible to humans are found in addition to a large number of other pathogens. Examples are Ebolavirus, SARS-CoV and also SARS-CoV-2. It is still not known whether SARS-CoV-2 was transmitted directly from bats to humans or whether another animal species plays a role as intermediate host.

Coronaviruses also occur naturally in pets and farm animals. However, they are clearly distinguishable from the pathogens causing severe human respiratory disease (SARS).