It is generally recognized that viruses should acquire adaptive changes when spillover to a new host. However, previous studies on human infections of SARS-CoV-2 did not find such selection signature. The SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in 2020 on Netherlands mink farms provides us the opportunity to study the early evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in minks. Dr. Shu-Miaw Chaw’s team at Biodiversity Research Center and Dr. Hurng-Yi Wang’s at National Taiwan University College of Medicine found very different evolutionary patterns between the two hosts’ viruses. This work was published in Molecular Biology and Evolution.

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Studies on infected farmed minks provide new insight into the origin and evolution of SARS-CoV-2