NIH cancels Wuhan funding
SAGO, came together last year after widespread criticism of a joint WHO-China investigation
Lab-leak theory as ‘extremely unlikely’
China via frozen fish
WHO covid origins report
Members of the group from Brazil, China and Russia
objected to the calls for further investigation into the “lab leak” theory
WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
sent two letters,….. and further information into the laboratory hypotheses
SAGO was not provided any information related to studies conducted evaluating the laboratory hypotheses as a possible introduction into the human population.
The possibility of a breach in biosafety or biosecurity measures
possibility of novel pathogens escaping into the human population due to a breach … in a laboratory
this has unfortunately happened with other pathogens
are still lacking in most low- and middle- income countries.
Need for identification
gain of function
dual use research of concern
At the present time
available epidemiological and sequencing data,
suggest ancestral strains to SARS-CoV-2 have a zoonotic origin,
closest genetically related viruses, beta coronaviruses, identified in Rhinolophus bats
China in 2013, (96.1%)
Laos in 2020 (96.8%)
“At this point, the strongest evidence is still around zoonotic transmission,”
Marietjie Venter, chair of the WHO team, virologist University of Pretoria
However, the precursor viruses that have been identified in bats are definitely not close enough to be the virus that spilled over into humans
Humans and chimps, 98.9%
Human to human 99.9%
human DNA in a banana, about 60%
so far neither the virus progenitors,
nor the natural/intermediate hosts,
or spill-over event to humans,
have been identified
Huanan seafood market in Wuhan played an important role early in the amplification
Scientific advisory group for the origins of novel pathogens (SAGO)
first preliminary report from the
represents work that is ongoing and not yet complete.
The work of the SAGO should be read as a work in progress.
global framework to study emerging and re-emerging pathogens of pandemic potential
offers preliminary recommendations to advance our understanding of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 into the human population
notes that there are key pieces of data that are not yet available
Further studies, follow up on several gaps in our knowledge
yet to be determined where the initial spill over event(s) occurred
Need to examine environmental samples collected from specific stalls and drains at the market in January 2020
Studies to identify possible animal sources from which the environmental contamination could have originated from have not been completed.
Clinical history and seroprevalence in humans and animals from the source farms of animals sold at Wuhan markets.
Verification analyses of human samples collected through national surveillance programs,
during the months prior to December 2019
Genetic studies of coronaviruses in wildlife species,
The SAGO notes
No new lab leak information
recommends further investigations into this and all other possible pathways.
The SAGO will remain open to any and all scientific evidence that becomes available,
to allow for comprehensive testing of all reasonable hypotheses.