Many human coronaviruses have ancestral host origins in species of bat. However, all instances I am aware of identified other animals as intermediary vectors:

  • SARS-CoV: Human ← Palm Civet / Raccoon ← Bat
  • MERS-CoV: Human ← Dromedary Camel ← Bat
  • HCoV-229E: Human ← Alpaca ← Bat

Are there any known cases of direct bat to human transmission of coronavirus?

Source: Bats and Coronaviruses, Viruses (2019)


It is possible, but unconfirmed, that the first incidents of SARS-CoV were directly infected by bats, and that palm civits were infected parallelly:

The new study demonstrates that Chinese horseshoe bats harbor a pair of SARS like viruses that are very closely related to the strain that caused the 2003-2004 pandemic and that these strains have the capacity to directly infect human cells and civet cat cells as well as bat cells. These findings suggest that bats may have directly infected humans and that civet cats may have been incidentally infected.


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