||NIH Director's Seminar Series
In the past two decades, three coronaviruses have emerged and caused widespread outbreaks in humans. The origin of these zoonotic viruses has been traced back to bats as natural reservoir. Since the SARS epidemic in 2002–2003, the appreciation of bats as key hosts of zoonotic coronaviruses has advanced rapidly, but data underlying key drivers of the epidemic and pandemic emergence of these viruses remain limited. Here we discuss the emergence of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Highlighting the origin, genetic diversity, pandemic potential, transmission dynamics, pathogenicity, and development of countermeasure against these beta coronaviruses.