Stray dogs may have been the ‘intermediary animal’ that spread coronavirus from bats to humans — rather than pangolins, as previously thought — a study claimed.

Understanding how coronavirus came to infect humans is vital for discerning how the virus works — and for concocting vaccines and treatments to stop its spread.
Canadian researchers who analysed the coronavirus genome argue that only a transmission route via dogs can explain their findings.
However, the study has been met with criticism, with one researcher accusing it of being founded on ‘far too much inference and far too little direct data.’

Paper author and biologist Xuhua Xia of the University of Ottawa proposes a scenario in which ‘the coronavirus first spread from bats to stray dogs eating bat meat.’

‘The ancestor of COVID-19 — a bat coronavirus — infected the intestine of dogs, most likely resulting in a rapid evolution of the virus and its jump into humans.’.