Journal article Open Access

Outlines of a probabilistic evaluation of possible SARS-CoV-2 origins

Demaneuf, Gilles; De Maistre, Rodolphe


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{
  "publisher": "Zenodo", 
  "DOI": "10.5281/zenodo.4067919", 
  "language": "eng", 
  "title": "Outlines of a probabilistic evaluation of possible SARS-CoV-2 origins", 
  "issued": {
    "date-parts": [
      [
        2020, 
        9, 
        26
      ]
    ]
  }, 
  "abstract": "<p>We explore the relative probabilities of a lab-related accident against a non-lab-related zoonotic event being at the root of the current COVID-19 pandemic. We show that, based on present knowledge, the relative probability of a lab-related accident against a non-lab related zoonotic event is not negligible across a wide range of defensible input probabilities.</p>\n\n<p>For instance, under a reference set of input probabilities, the relative probabilities are at least 55% for a lab-related event against 45% at most for a non-lab-related zoonotic event. Even under a particularly conservative set of assumptions the relative probability of the lab-related accident is still 6% (to 94% for the non-lab related zoonotic event).</p>\n\n<p>Through a review of the Chinese specialised literature, we further show that our underlying estimate for the probability of lab-acquired infection is consistent with risk assessments from Chinese authorities and specialists. As part of this study, we list 112 individual&nbsp;BSL-3 labs in China, across 62 lab complexes.</p>\n\n<p>We then review a list of common probabilistic misunderstandings that are often associated with discussions about COVID-19 origins and conclude by discussing how such a probabilistic treatment can also offer a way to properly guide an investigation into the causes of the pandemic while being able to embrace different estimates of the underlying probabilities.</p>\n\n<p><br>\n<strong>Note: This paper is produced by the authors strictly in their personal capacity, and&nbsp;should not be constructed as representing in any way the opinion of any of the institutions the authors are employed or associated to.&nbsp;</strong></p>", 
  "author": [
    {
      "family": "Demaneuf, Gilles"
    }, 
    {
      "family": "De Maistre, Rodolphe"
    }
  ], 
  "note": "This paper comes with a spreadsheet listing 112 individual BSL-3 labs in China across 62 lab-complexes.", 
  "version": "1.0.1", 
  "type": "article-journal", 
  "id": "4067919"
}
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