Christian Dorsten says in an (Apr 26) interview in the Guardian that racoon dogs as [intermediate] source of coronavirues have been overlooked (in China):

Q: What do we know about that intermediate host – is it the “poor pangolin”, as it’s come to be known?

A: I don’t see any reason to assume that the virus passed through pangolins on its way to humans. There is an interesting piece of information from the old Sars literature. That virus was found in civet cats, but also in raccoon dogs – something the media overlooked. Raccoon dogs are a massive industry in China, where they are bred on farms and caught in the wild for their fur. If somebody gave me a few hundred thousand bucks and free access to China to find the source of the virus, I would look in places where raccoon dogs are bred.

So what studies are there on coronavirues in racoon dogs up to now? (A quick search found a 1992 US paper that some coronavirus [unsurprisingly] infects racoons too. But I can't find much else. Is there more up-to-date survey? Also, duh, racoon dogs aren't even the same family [Canidae vs Procyonidae].)


1 Answer 1


Here's an abstract for a paper from 2006: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16450706

An RT-nPCR assay was used for testing fecal samples of dogs, foxes, raccoon dogs and minks for the presence of canine coronavirus (CCV). The animals were raised in homes, dog schools or farms... Among 24 raccoon dogs samples, 22 were CCV type II-positive, and from those 16 were additionally type I positive.

Here's another paper from 2003: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12958366

A novel coronavirus (SCoV) is the etiological agent of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)... Evidence of virus infection was also detected in other animals (including a raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonoides) and in humans working at the same market.

So at least a couple types of canine coronavirus and other strains closely related (but not identical) to the coronavirus that causes SARS.

  • $\begingroup$ Racoon dog is almost like dog (only 10 million years, human and chimpanzee is 6) $\endgroup$
    – reuns
    May 14, 2020 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ So it seems obvious the canine betacoronavirus_1 (OC43 & BCoV related) CRCoV infects racoon dogs $\endgroup$
    – reuns
    May 14, 2020 at 12:39

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