Zoonotic and Reverse Zoonotic Events of SARS-CoV-2 and their Impact on Global Health

Khalid Munir, Shoaib Ashraf, Isra Munir, Hamna Khalid, Mohammad Akram Muneer, Noreen Mukhtar, Shahid Amin, Sohaib Ashraf, Muhammad Ahmad Imran, Umer Chaudhry, Muhammad Usman Zaheer, Maria Arshad, Rukhsana Munir, Ali Ahmad, Xin Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coronaviruses (CoVs) are enveloped, positive sense, single-stranded RNA viruses. The viruses have adapted to infect a large number of animal species, ranging from bats to camels. At present, seven CoVs infect humans, of which Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for causing the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans. Since its emergence in late 2019, SARS-CoV-2 has spread rapidly across the globe. Healthcare systems around the globe have been stretched beyond their limits and capacity posing new challenges to emergency healthcare services and critical care. The outbreak continues to jeopardize human health, social life and economy. All known human CoVs have zoonotic origins. Recent detection of SARS-CoV-2 in pet, zoo and farm animals has highlighted its potential for reverse zoonosis. This scenario is particularly alarming, since these animals could be potential reservoirs for secondary zoonotic infections. In this article, we highlight interspecies SARS-CoV-2 infections and focus on the reverse zoonotic potential of this virus. We also emphasize the importance of potential secondary zoonotic events and the One-Health and One-World approach to tackle such future pandemics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
JournalEmerging Microbes and Infections
Early online date23 Sep 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Sep 2020


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