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Covid-19: the raccoon dog is added to the list of suspects


Florence Débarre, French researcher in evolutionary biology at the CNRS, affirms that this animal, very popular in China for its fur, could be the origin of Covid-19.

Florence Débarre, researcher in evolutionary biology at the CNRS, claims to have “

found these new things a bit by chance, without immediately understanding that there were raw data

”, with our colleagues from



While looking for information on the Chinese market in Wuhan, which could be the starting point of the Covid-19 pandemic, on the GISAID database (Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data, a data sharing

initiative on avian flu also used during the Covid-19 pandemic, Editor's note

), the scientist is interested in certain dissected Covid samples.

These data link the virus to... raccoon dogs, a wild animal that looks like a large raccoon.

They were then shared with scientists around the world who, thanks to the jet lag, were able to work almost continuously.


It was teamwork

", abounds the Frenchwoman.

According to their research, several samples positive for Covid-19 in turn contain DNA from raccoon dogs.

In the data, we also find fish, chicken, beef… But these are not intermediate animals identified in the transmission of the virus to humans, whereas raccoon dogs are”, underlines Florence Débarre



Covid-19: did you really have to get vaccinated?

If, for the moment, it is impossible to affirm that these animals transmitted the virus to humans at the end of 2019, these data "above all

provide experimental proof that there were indeed on this market raccoon dogs, which are among the major suspects

”, deciphers Étienne Decroly, research director at the CNRS and specialist in emerging viruses with Le



Until now, the pangolin and the bat have been suspected of having transmitted Covid to humans, and therefore of being the cause of the global pandemic which brought the world to a standstill for two years.

Nevertheless, the US FBI, as well as the US Department of Energy say the Covid-19 pandemic was

"most likely


caused by a lab leak, according to a classified report from the National Intelligence Directorate, recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-18

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