Link to DOI – 10.5802/crbiol.29
Comptes Rendus Biologies 2020; 20 p
SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for the global COVID19 pandemic. We review what is known about the origin of this virus, detected in China at the end of December 2019. The genome of this virus mainly evolves under the effect of point mutations. These are generally neutral and have no impact on virulence and severity, but some appear to influence infectivity, notably the D614G mutation of the Spike protein. To date (30/09/2020) no recombination of the virus has been documented in the human host, and very few insertions and deletions. The worldwide spread of the virus was the subject of controversies that we summarize, before proposing a new approach free from the limitations of previous methods. The results show a complex scenario with, for example, numerous introductions to the USA and returns of the virus from the USA to certain countries including France.