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PROF DR; Jean Monnet CHAIR

A number of virological, epidemiological and ethnographic arguments suggest that COVID-19 has a zoonotic origin. The pangolin, a species threatened with extinction due to poaching for both culinary purposes and traditional Chinese pharmacopoeia, is now suspected of being the “missing link” in the transmission to humans of a virus that probably originated in a species of bat. Our predation of wild fauna and the reduction in their habitats have thus ended up creating new interfaces that favour the transmission of pathogens (mainly viruses) to humans. Domesticated animals and wild fauna thus constitute a reservoir for almost 80% of emerging human diseases (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, Ebola). These diseases are all zoonotic in origin.