ArticleLiterature Review

Bats, Civets and the emergence of SARS

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Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was the first pandemic transmissible disease of previously unknown aetiology in the twenty-first century. Early epidemiologic investigations suggested an animal origin for SARS-CoV. Virological and serological studies indicated that masked palm civets ( Paguma larvata), together with two other wildlife animals, sampled from a live animal market were infected with SARS-CoV or a closely related virus. Recently, horseshoe bats in the genus Rhinolophus have been identified as natural reservoir of SARS-like coronaviruses. Here, we review studies by different groups demonstrating that SARS-CoV succeeded in spillover from a wildlife reservoir (probably bats) to human population via an intermediate host(s) and that rapid virus evolution played a key role in the adaptation of SARS-CoVs in at least two nonreservoir species within a short period.

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... The WHO declared the pandemic is over in July 2003. Four additional cases were reported until late 2004, but none of them caused mortality or secondary spread [45]. ...
... In terms of origin, since the beginning of the outbreak, several studies have been conducted to reveal how SARS-CoV originated. Due to early epidemic studies indicating an animal origin, the efforts were focused on detecting SARS-CoV-like viruses among wildlife animals [45]. In 2003, Guan et al. [19] isolated SARS-CoV for the first time from Himalayan palm civets (HPCs) and a raccoon dog from a live animal market in Guangdong, China. ...
Article
Infectious diseases are known to act in both predictable and unpredictable ways, which leads to the notions of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. Emerging diseases with their disastrous consequences might be surprising and unpredictable, but they could be foreseen. For instance, some emerging diseases and recently the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were the reason for papers published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other researchers addressing the likely pathogens causing future outbreaks, according to the reports of the WHO in 2016 and 2018. Although it might seem like a wisdom in retrospect, several studies had already indicated possible future outbreaks caused by coronaviruses. Announcements, which may be viewed as “warnings,” appeared since the emergence of the first coronavirus-related outbreak caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in the winter of 2002–2003 and a later outbreak caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012–2013. Therefore, we were curious to review the medical literature prior to the COVID-19 pandemic with an aim to enumerate and evaluate studies addressing and warning against future outbreaks, and surprisingly pandemics, of members of coronaviruses. Interestingly, we found numerous studies that correctly predicted the current pandemic of COVID-19. While this part is highly interesting, how authorities reacted and prepared for warnings, if any, and how will they get prepared for the next warnings are our main messages. Taking these points into serious consideration will certainly aid in analyzing reports regarding possible future outbreaks as well as in developing various strategies for prevention and coping with such epidemics.
... Human incursion into wild habitats is facilitated through activities such as farming, wild animal hunting and rapid transportation (80)(81)(82). These activities have a direct effect on the circulation of zoonotic pathogens between their reservoir hosts, intermediate hosts and humans; this is referred to as the sylvatic cycle (83)(84)(85). Sylvatic cycles are also affected by climate change as global warming can broaden habitat ranges, allowing species to migrate into geographical locations they previously did not inhabit (25). ...
... The Sarbecoviruses consist of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, two of the most pathogenic coronaviruses identified to date (103). SARS-CoV was originally believed to have emerged from Paguma larvata (masked palm civets) after a case of SARS transmission from masked palm civets to humans (83,104). However, this changed in 2005 when SL-CoVs were discovered in Chiroptera spp. ...
Article
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The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in 2019 has resulted in a global pandemic with devastating human health and economic consequences. The development of multiple vaccines, antivirals and supportive care modalities have aided in our efforts to gain control of the pandemic. However, the emergence of multiple variants of concern and spillover into numerous nonhuman animal species could protract the pandemic. Further, these events also increase the difficulty in simultaneously monitoring viral evolution across multiple species and predicting future spillback potential into the human population. Here, we provide historic context regarding the roles of reservoir and intermediate hosts in coronavirus circulation and discuss current knowledge of these for SARS-CoV-2. Increased understanding of SARS-CoV-2 zoonoses are fundamental for efforts to control the global health and economic impacts of COVID-19.
... Introduction Coronaviruses (CoVs) appeared as public health threat during the emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) during [2002][2003]. It was the first pandemic in the 21 st century [1,2]. The outbreak spread rapidly from southern China to almost 30 countries of the world. ...
... The outbreak spread rapidly from southern China to almost 30 countries of the world. Within 6 months SARS caused greater than 8000 cases and 774 deaths in humans [2]. The causal agent of SARS was not known initially but later scientists identified the cause as a CoV. ...
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The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) showed susceptibility to diverse animal species. We conducted this study to understand the spatial epidemiology , genetic diversity, and statistically significant genetic similarity along with per-gene recombination events of SARS-CoV-2 and related viruses (SC2r-CoVs) in animals globally. We collected a number of different animal species infected with SARS-CoV-2 and its related viruses. Then, we retrieved genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 and SC2r-CoVs from GISAID and NCBI GenBank for genomic and mutational analysis. Although the evolutionary origin of SARS-CoV-2 remains elusive, the diverse SC2r-CoV have been detected in multiple Rhinolophus bat species and in Malayan pangolin. To date, human-to-animal spillover events have been reported in cat, dog, tiger, lion, gorilla, leopard, ferret, puma, cougar, otter, and mink in 25 countries. Phylogeny and genetic recombination events of SC2r-CoVs showed higher similarity to the bat coronavirus RaTG13 and BANAL-103 for most of the genes and to some Malayan pangolin coronavirus (CoV) strains for the N protein from bats and pangolin showed close resemblance to SARS-CoV-2. The clustering of animal and human strains from the same geographical area has proved human-to-animal transmission of the virus. The Alpha, Delta and Mu-variant of SARS-CoV-2 was detected in dog, gorilla, lion, tiger, otter, and cat in the USA, India, Czech Republic, Belgium, and France with momentous genetic similarity with human SARS-CoV-2 sequences. The mink variant mutation (spike_Y453F) was detected in both humans and domestic cats. Moreover, the dog was affected mostly by clade O (66.7%), whereas cat and American mink were affected by clade GR (31.6 and 49.7%, respectively). The α-variant was detected as 2.6% in cat, 4.8% in dog, 14.3% in tiger, 66.7% in gorilla, and 77.3% in lion. The highest mutations observed in mink where the substitution of D614G in spike (95.2%) and P323L in NSP12 (95.2%) protein. In dog, cat, gorilla, lion, and tiger, Y505H and Y453F were the common mutations followed by Y145del, Y144del, and V70I in S protein. We recommend vaccine provision for pet and zoo animals to reduce the chance of transmission in animals. Besides, continuous PLOS ONE PLOS ONE | https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone. Citation: Islam A, Ferdous J, Sayeed M.A, Islam S, Kaisar Rahman M., Abedin J, et al. (2021) Spatial epidemiology and genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 and related coronaviruses in domestic and wild animals. PLoS ONE 16(12): e0260635. https://doi.
... Two severe coronavirus incidences emerged before the present pandemic. The first SARS-CoV or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus was reported from Guangdong Province in China in mid-November 2002 (Wang & Eaton, 2007). The second, known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus or MERS-CoV was reported from the Middle East in 2012 (Sharif-Yakan & Kanj, 2014). ...
Article
COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, can lead to massive inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract causing severe clinical symptoms. SARS-CoV-2 infects lungs after binding its spike proteins with alveolar angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and it also triggers inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. SARS-CoV-2 invades the gastrointestinal tract by interacting with Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) that induces the expression of ACE2. The influx of ACE2 facilitates cellular binding of more SARS-CoV-2 and causes massive gastrointestinal inflammation leading to diarrhea. Diarrhea prior to COVID-19 infection or COVID-19-induced diarrhea reportedly ends up in a poor prognosis for the patient. Flavonoids are part of traditional remedies for gastrointestinal disorders. Preclinical studies show that flavonoids can prevent infectious diarrhea. Recent studies show flavonoids can inhibit the multiplication of SARS-CoV-2. In combination with vitamin D, flavonoids possibly activate nuclear factor erythroid-derived-2-related factor 2 that downregulates ACE2 expression in cells. We suggest that flavonoids have the potential to prevent SARS-CoV-2 induced diarrhea. Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; diarrhea; flavonoids; quercetin
... SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV are zoonotic coronaviruses that believed originating from bats and have been transmitted to other species (civets and camels, respectively), which act as intermediate hosts before being transmitted to humans [15][16][17]. The SARS-CoV-2, which recently caused a worldwide pandemic, was shown to have a nucleotide similarity of up to 96.1% with BatCoV RaTG13 originating from Rhinolophus affinis and first isolated in 2013 [18,19]. ...
Article
Bats are an important reservoir of several zoonotic diseases. However, the circulation of bat coronaviruses (BatCoV) in live animal markets in Indonesia has not been reported. Genetic characterization of BatCoV was performed by sequencing partial RdRp genes. Real-time polymerase chain reaction based on nucleocapsid protein (N) gene and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay against the N protein were conducted to detect the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral RNA and antibody, respectively. We identified the presence of BatCoV on Cynopterus brachyotis, Macroglossus minimus, and Rousettus amplexicaudatus. The results showed that the BatCoV included in this study are from an unclassified coronavirus group. Notably, SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA and antibodies were not detected in the sampled bats.
... With over 1400 species, bats are the second largest group of mammals after rodents [1,2]. In recent years, bats have been recognized as a reservoir of numerous emerging viruses such Ebola virus, Nipah virus, and coronaviruses, which can cross the species barrier and infect humans and animals [3][4][5]. Studies conducted by different groups of scientists have proven that bats serve as a major reservoir of alphacoronaviruses (alphaCoVs) and betaCoVs. It has also been posited that bats may harbor an ancestor for both CoV genera [6,7]. ...
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Bats are a major global reservoir of alphacoronaviruses (alphaCoVs) and betaCoVs. Attempts to discover the causative agents of COVID-19 and SARS have revealed horseshoe bats (Rhinolophidae) to be the most probable source of the virus. We report the first detection of bat coronaviruses (BtCoVs) in insectivorous bats in Poland and highlight SARS-related coronaviruses found in Rhinolophidae bats. The study included 503 (397 oral swabs and 106 fecal) samples collected from 20 bat species. Genetically diverse BtCoVs (n = 20) of the Alpha- and Betacoronavirus genera were found in fecal samples of two bat species. SARS-related CoVs were in 18 out of 58 lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) samples (31%, 95% CI 20.6–43.8), and alphaCoVs were in 2 out of 55 Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii) samples (3.6%, 95% CI 0.6–12.3). The overall BtCoV prevalence was 4.0% (95% CI 2.6–6.1). High identity was determined for BtCoVs isolated from European M. daubentonii and R. hipposideros bats. The detection of SARS-related and alphaCoVs in Polish bats with high phylogenetic relatedness to reference BtCoVs isolated in different European countries but from the same species confirms their high host restriction. Our data elucidate the molecular epidemiology, prevalence, and geographic distribution of coronaviruses and particularly SARS-related types in the bat population.
... Civet cats (Paguma larvata) and dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) are the intermediate hosts for the original SARS and MERS, respectively [4]. The reservoir host for the latest coronavirus is unknown; however, amino acid analysis revealed that the spike glycoprotein for SARS-CoV-2 bears a 97% homology to pangolin coronaviruses, suggesting that it may be an intermediate host of the pandemic virus [5]. ...
... Among the four genera in the Coronaviridae family, Alphacoronavirus and Betacoronavirus usually infect mammals and have possible bat origin, while Gammacoronavirus and Deltacoronavirus contaminate birds, fishes, and mammals and are assumed to have swine origin [9,12,13]. The genus Betacoronavirus possess potential zoonotic pathogens like SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV which have bats as primary host and palm civet cat and dromedary camels as intermediate hosts, respectively [14][15][16]. Amongst CoVs, recent zoonotic ones such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 gained higher importance due to the severity of disease in humans and their global spread [3]. ...
Article
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In recent a major problem that would not be only noticed but also affect a huge level of human as well as animal population that is COVID-19. The COVID-19 virus (also called SARS-CoV-2) is a new virus in human population. Recently Spread of COVID-19 occurs through human-to-human transmission and may be spread in animals as a result of close contact with human being. Hence, it is utmost necessary to know the proper path of zoonotic transmission of covid-19 so there are possible to control the rapid spread and circulation of this so called virus in an effective way throughout the globe. Increasing globalization and the importance of the human-animal-ecosystem interface both factors resulting in evolution and emergence of pathogens.
... Vermutlich über den Larvenroller (Paguma larvata) von der Fledermaus (Gattung Rhinolophus 52 ) auf den Menschen übertragen, verursachte es das namensgebende «severe acute respiratory syndrome» (SARS). 94 SARS-CoV-1 ist verantwortlich für über 8000 Infektionen bei Menschen und 774 Tote 13 weltweit; das Virus wurde jedoch seit 2004 nicht mehr nachgewiesen. 50 88 und im Fall der Nerzfarmen auch von Tieren auf Menschen nachgewiesen werden. ...
Article
Introduction: The pandemic with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has led to infections and deaths worldwide. Apart from humans, certain animal species are susceptible to the viral infection. Spillover between humans and animals is favored by close contact; thus, surveillance of animals is an important component to fight the pandemic from a One Health perspective. The Clinical Laboratory of the Vetsuisse Faculty Zurich has been investigating SARS-CoV-2 infections in animals since the beginning of the pandemic. In November 2020, the first SARS-CoV-2 positive Swiss cat was reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE-WAHIS). The cat showed respiratory signs and lived in a COVID-19 affected household. By now, over 500 natural SARS-CoV-2 infections have been recorded in animals worldwide. A prevalence study on SARS-CoV-2 infections in dogs and cats was carried out together with clinics from Germany and Italy during the first wave of the pandemic (March-July 2020). Among the tested 1137 animals, only one cat and one dog were positive. The prevalence of infection in dogs and cats presented to veterinary clinics was low, even in pandemic hotspot regions. However, recent studies that focused on animals in COVID-19 households found a higher prevalence of infection. A study is currently underway that specifically collects samples from pets from Swiss COVID-19 affected household and collects data on human-animal interaction.
... Mouse (Mus musculus) and grivet/African green monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops) samples were experimentally infected (13); to our knowledge, neither of these animals play a role in the SARS outbreak. The Rhinolophus genus of bats, which is identified as the closest match to SARS-CoV, is consistent with previous findings; that is, this genus is a natural reservoir host (13,14). The intermediate animal in the SARS outbreak is identified as masked palm civet (Paguma larvata), but the zoonotic coronavirus sequences native to this species are unavailable. ...
Article
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Although lessons have been learned from previous severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreaks, the rapid evolution of the viruses means that future outbreaks of a much larger scale are possible, as shown by the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Therefore, it is necessary to better understand the evolution of coronaviruses as well as viruses in general. This study reports a comparative analysis of the amino acid usage within several key viral families and genera that are prone to triggering outbreaks, including coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2], SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, human coronavirus-HKU1 [HCoV-HKU1], HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-229E), influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2), flavivirus (dengue virus serotypes 1 to 4 and Zika) and ebolavirus (Zaire, Sudan, and Bundibugyo ebolavirus). Our analysis reveals that the distribution of amino acid usage in the viral genome is constrained to follow a linear order, and the distribution remains closely related to the viral species within the family or genus. This constraint can be adapted to predict viral mutations and future variants of concern. By studying previous SARS and MERS outbreaks, we have adapted this naturally occurring pattern to determine that although pangolin plays a role in the outbreak of COVID-19, it may not be the sole agent as an intermediate animal. In addition to this study, our findings contribute to the understanding of viral mutations for subsequent development of vaccines and toward developing a model to determine the source of the outbreak. IMPORTANCE This study reports a comparative analysis of amino acid usage within several key viral genera that are prone to triggering outbreaks. Interestingly, there is evidence that the amino acid usage within the viral genomes is not random but in a linear order.
... The outbreaks of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV in 2012 highlighted the ability of coronaviruses to jump the species barrier causing implications for human health [13,14]. Coron- Figure 1. ...
Article
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This article aims to review all currently known interactions between animal and human coronaviruses and their cellular receptors. Over the past 20 years, three novel coronaviruses have emerged that have caused severe disease in humans, including SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome virus 2); therefore, a deeper understanding of coronavirus host-cell interactions is essential. Receptor-binding is the first stage in coronavirus entry prior to replication and can be altered by minor changes within the spike protein-the coronavirus surface glycoprotein responsible for the recognition of cell-surface receptors. The recognition of receptors by coronaviruses is also a major determinant in infection, tropism, and pathogenesis and acts as a key target for host-immune surveillance and other potential intervention strategies. We aim to highlight the need for a continued in-depth understanding of this subject area following on from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, with the possibility for more zoonotic transmission events. We also acknowledge the need for more targeted research towards glycan-coronavirus interactions as zoonotic spillover events from animals to humans, following an alteration in glycan-binding capability, have been well-documented for other viruses such as Influenza A.
... After the emergence of SARS-CoV in 2002 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012, SARS-CoV-2 is the third zoonotic coronavirus that emerged in late 2019 to infect humans [17][18][19]. Rarely, CoVs can spread from animals to humans and then spread among humans, as happened in the case of SARS-CoV-2. It is believed that COVID-19 originated in bats [7], although an intermediate host has not been identified (WHO report 2021). ...
Article
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The World Health Organization declared coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic on March 11, 2020. COVID-19, the current global health emergency, is wreaking havoc on human health systems and, to a lesser degree, on animals globally. The outbreak has continued since the first report of COVID-19 in China in December 2019, and the second and third waves of the outbreak have already begun in several countries. COVID-19 is expected to have adverse effects on crop production, food security, integrated pest control, tourism, the car industry, and other sectors of the global economy. COVID-19 induces a range of effects in livestock that is reflected economically since human health and livelihood are intertwined with animal health. We summarize the potentially harmful effects of COVID-19 on livestock and possible mitigation steps in response to this global outbreak. Mitigation of the negative effects of COVID-19 and future pandemics on livestock requires the implementation of current guidelines.
... Currently, it is believed that the above species of microbes come from the bat, but other wild or domestic animals have acted as an intermediate host and have allowed the virus to be transmitted to humans. The most likely route of HCoV-SARS transmission is a palm civet (Paguma larvata), in the case of HCoV-MERS the role of the carrier is played by dromedary camels and for SARS-CoV-2 the intermediate host is probably the Malayan pangolin (Manis javanica) [18][19][20]. ...
Article
Epidemics of infectious diseases have always been a threat to humanity and have contributed to increased mortality in the affected areas. This also applies to a new species of coronavirus identified in 2019, SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite preventive measures implemented all over the world to minimise the spread of the pathogen as well as the development of vaccines, which have been approved for emergency use, the situation is still worrying. Moreover, the problem is exacerbated by the lack of targeted treatments for COVID-19 patients. One possible solution is the using preparations based on natural raw materials, including chitosan. This biopolymer is of great interest due to a number of unique biological properties, among which its antiviral effect is a key feature. Hence, this paper presents the application possibilities of chitosan-based solutions in the prevention and treatment of viral diseases, with particular emphasis on COVID-19.
... deaths (6). Epidemiological investigation indicated that palm civet was the major intermediate host of SARS-CoV-1, which led to the massive culling of wild animals in the markets and successful elimination of SARS (7,8). ...
Article
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1) and SARS-CoV-2 are highly pathogenic to humans and have caused pandemics in 2003 and 2019, respectively. Genetically diverse SARS-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoVs) have been detected or isolated from bats, and some of these viruses have been demonstrated to utilize human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a receptor and to have the potential to spill over to humans. A pan-sarbecovirus vaccine that provides protection against SARSr-CoV infection is urgently needed. In this study, we evaluated the protective efficacy of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine against recombinant SARSr-CoVs carrying two different spike proteins (named rWIV1 and rRsSHC014S, respectively). Although serum neutralizing assays showed limited cross-reactivity between the three viruses, the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provided full protection against SARS-CoV-2 and rWIV1 and partial protection against rRsSHC014S infection in human ACE2 transgenic mice. Passive transfer of SARS-CoV-2-vaccinated mouse sera provided low protection for rWIV1 but not for rRsSHC014S infection in human ACE2 mice. A specific cellular immune response induced by WIV1 membrane protein peptides was detected in the vaccinated animals, which may explain the cross-protection of the inactivated vaccine. This study shows the possibility of developing a pan-sarbecovirus vaccine against SARSr-CoVs for future preparedness. Copyright
... Mouse (Mus musculus) and grivet/African green monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops) samples were experimentally infected 13 ; to our knowledge, neither of these animals play a role in the SARS outbreak. The Rhinolophus genus of bats, which is identified as the closest match to SARS-CoV, is consistent with previous findings; that is, this genus is a natural reservoir host 13,14 ...
Preprint
Although lessons have been learned from previous severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreaks, the rapid evolution of the viruses means that future outbreaks of a much larger scale are possible, as shown by the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Therefore, it is necessary to better understand the evolution of coronaviruses as well as viruses in general. This study reports a comparative analysis of the amino acid usage within several key viral families and genera that are prone to triggering outbreaks, including coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-229E), influenza A (H1N1, H3N2), flavivirus (dengue virus serotypes 1-4, Zika) and ebolavirus (Zaire, Sudan, Bundibugyo ebolavirus). Our analysis reveals that the distribution of amino acid usage in the viral genome is constrained to follow a linear order, and the distribution remains closely related to the viral species within the family or genus. This constraint can be adapted to predict viral mutations and future variants of concern. By studying previous SARS and MERS outbreaks, we have adapted this naturally occurring pattern to determine that although pangolin plays a role in the outbreak of COVID-19, it may not be the sole agent as an intermediate animal. In addition to this study, our findings contribute to the understanding of viral mutations for subsequent development of vaccines and toward developing a model to determine the source of the outbreak.
... Therefore, current and previous coronavirus outbreaks further emphasise the need for a complete ban of wildlife trade and consumption to prevent the emergence and re-emergence of zoonotic infections (Wang et al., 2007;Hemida et al., 2017). Malaysia has lost its Sumatran rhinoceros in 2019 due to a population crash beginning in the 1990s as a consequence of illegal hunting and conversion of prime forest habitats to agricultural plantations. ...
Article
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Campaigns for global ban of wildlife trade and consumption have been carried out extensively since the emergence the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the end of 2019. However, there was reportedly an initiative to use sun bear bile to treat this zoonotic disease in China. This new development may endanger sun bears (Helarctos malayanus) in Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia, because around 60% of the traditional Chinese medicine shops offer the bear’s parts for treating various ailments. In our opinion, wildlife bans and conservative efforts need to be addressed systematically by strengthening law enforcement and banning wildlife product consumption and trade on various platforms, regardless of cultural belief. A movement control order is also proposed at forest reserve areas and national parks during the night or at certain periods. Collaborations are needed between enforcement agencies (e.g. Department of Wildlife and National Parks, police, the armed forces and Customs Department) to patrol protected forests and border smuggling points, besides adoption of the latest surveillance technology to keep the trade in check (e.g. long range drones with infrared thermal imaging system and geographic information system for crime mapping). Citizens can also play their role in aiding the effort through various awareness programmes and helping enforcement agencies by joining the People’s Volunteer Corps. Banning of wildlife trade and consumption, if globally monitored and enforced, may bring benefits to the world like preventing the spread of zoonotic diseases and wildlife sustainability.
... "It is well known that bats are reservoirs for zoonotic viruses, such as filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg viruses), henipaviruses (Hendra and Nipah viruses), and coronaviruses (including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus SARS-CoV" [15]. ...
Article
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Rotaviruses are the most common cause of diarrhea in children and animals. Bats are considered reservoirs of many viruses with zoonotic impact worldwide. Rotaviruses have been detected in bats and many of those strains that have been identified globally share high homology with rotavirus strains identified in animals and humans, demonstrating that roles are being created in interspecies transmission and genetic rearrangement in a large number of occasions, which is producing rotavirus genetic diversity. The current effort to characterize strains of rotavirus in bats would help expand knowledge about the great genetic diversity of rotaviruses and could also suggest a bat origin for several unusual rotavirus strains detected in humans and animals. This is a review of the different strains of rotavirus that have been detected in bats globally, where bats have been identified as a possible zoonotic potential in the transmission of rotavirus to animals and humans; and possible anthropozoonosis events are revealed.
... The occurrence of repeated spillover from camels to humans might also provide another barrier to selection for efficient transmission of MERS-CoV relative to the very small number of spillovers of the other 2 emergent coronaviruses [68,69]. Repeated spillover could lead to an accumulation of "hidden immunity" in the individuals most likely to be zoonotically infected and thus make them even less likely to provide fertile ground for ongoing adaptation. ...
Article
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Despite multiple spillover events and short chains of transmission on at least 4 continents, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has never triggered a pandemic. By contrast, its relative, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has, despite apparently little, if any, previous circulation in humans. Resolving the unsolved mystery of the failure of MERS-CoV to trigger a pandemic could help inform how we understand the pandemic potential of pathogens, and probing it underscores a need for a more holistic understanding of the ways in which viral genetic changes scale up to population-level transmission.
... The recent outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID- 19) caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) showed us that CoVs could result in fatal diseases in human and could have huge economic impacts globally [2]. The origin of SARS-CoV-2 is still unclear, but the origin of SARS-CoV [3] and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) [4] have both been identified in bats. Therefore, animals are considered to be natural reservoirs or intermediate hosts for cross-species transmission of CoVs to humans [5]. ...
Article
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Animal coronaviruses (CoVs) have been identified to be the origin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV, and probably SARS-CoV-2 that cause severe to fatal diseases in humans. Variations of zoonotic coronaviruses pose potential threats to global human beings. To overcome this problem, we focused on the main protease (Mpro), which is an evolutionary conserved viral protein among different coronaviruses. The broad-spectrum anti-coronaviral drug, GC376, was repurposed to target canine coronavirus (CCoV), which causes gastrointestinal infections in dogs. We found that GC376 can efficiently block the protease activity of CCoV Mpro and can thermodynamically stabilize its folding. The structure of CCoV Mpro in complex with GC376 was subsequently determined at 2.75 Å. GC376 reacts with the catalytic residue C144 of CCoV Mpro and forms an (R)- or (S)-configuration of hemithioacetal. A structural comparison of CCoV Mpro and other animal CoV Mpros with SARS-CoV-2 Mpro revealed three important structural determinants in a substrate-binding pocket that dictate entry and release of substrates. As compared with the conserved A141 of the S1 site and P188 of the S4 site in animal coronaviral Mpros, SARS-CoV-2 Mpro contains N142 and Q189 at equivalent positions which are considered to be more catalytically compatible. Furthermore, the conserved loop with residues 46–49 in animal coronaviral Mpros has been replaced by a stable α-helix in SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. In addition, the species-specific dimerization interface also influences the catalytic efficiency of CoV Mpros. Conclusively, the structural information of this study provides mechanistic insights into the ligand binding and dimerization of CoV Mpros among different species.
... Moreover, in intermediate hosts, CoVs could differentiate and generate new viral progeny from the parental strains and then change pathogenicity and host range [7]. While SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV are recognized as responsible for human infection and present palm civet cat and dromedary camels, respectively, as intermediate hosts, the SARS-CoV-2 intermediate host is still unknown [120][121][122]. Since elective vaccines and antiviral therapies in veterinary medicine against animal infection could be prophylactic and therapeutical strategies against SARS-CoV-2, researchers are investigating which animals may act as SARS-CoV-2 intermediate hosts [7]. ...
Article
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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a newly discovered coronavirus responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. COVID-19 has rapidly become a public health emergency of international concern. Although remarkable scientific achievements have been reached since the beginning of the pandemic, the knowledge behind this novel coronavirus, in terms of molecular and pathogenic characteristics and zoonotic potential, is still relatively limited. Today, there is a vaccine, or rather several vaccines, which, for the first time in the history of highly contagious infectious diseases that have plagued mankind, has been manufactured in just one year. Currently, four vaccines are licensed by regulatory agencies, and they use RNA or viral vector technologies. The positive effects of the vaccination campaign are being felt in many parts of the world, but the disappearance of this new infection is still far from being a reality, as it is also threatened by the presence of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants that could undermine the effectiveness of the vaccine, hampering the immunization control efforts. Indeed, the current findings indicate that SARS-CoV-2 is adapting to transmission in humans more efficiently, while further divergence from the initial archetype should be considered. In this review, we aimed to provide a collection of the current knowledge regarding the molecular, phylogenetic, and pathogenetic insights into SARS-CoV-2. The most recent findings obtained with respect to the impact of novel emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants as well as the development and implementation of vaccines are highlighted.
... Different gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, respiratory illnesses, and nervous symptoms have been reported in coronavirus infections in bovine, canine, feline, and swine species [23,24,[26][27][28]. Initially, scientists have predicted raccoon dogs and palm civets as the key reservoirs of SARS-CoV, later viral RNA detection confirmed palm civets as the secondary host [29], although the details linking bat and farmed palm civets are unclear [30][31][32]. After detecting the anti-SARS antibody in Rhinolophus bats, it was considered a potential source of virus replication [33]. ...
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In the 21 st century, the world has been plagued by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a virus of the family Coronaviridae epidemiologically suspected to be linked to a wet market in Wuhan, China. The involvement of wildlife and wet markets with the previous outbreaks simultaneously has been brought into sharp focus. Although scientists are yet to ascertain the host range and zoonotic potential of SARS-CoV-2 rigorously, information about its two ancestors, SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), is a footprint for research on COVID-19. A 96% genetic similarity with bat coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2 indicates that the bat might be a potential reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 just like SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, where civets and dromedary camels are considered the potential intermediate host, respectively. Perceiving the genetic similarity between pangolin coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2, many scientists also have given the scheme that the pangolin might be the intermediate host. The involvement of SARS-CoV-2 with other animals, such as mink, snake, and turtle has also been highlighted in different research articles based on the interaction between the key amino acids of S protein in the receptor-binding domain and angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2). This study highlights the potential animal reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2 and the role of wildlife in the COVID-19 pandemic. Although different causes, such as recurring viral genome recombination, wide genetic assortment, and irksome food habits, have been blamed for this emergence, basic research studies and literature reviews indicate an enormous consortium between humans and animals for the COVID-19 pandemic.
... How did the virus get to mammals? Scientists eventually identified horseshoe bats (genus Rhinolophus) as best candidates for natural reservoir of SARS-like coronaviruses (Wang & Eaton, 2007). Many characteristics of bats (colonial nature, population structure, seasonal migration, daily movement patterns, roosting behaviour, etc.) make them "exquisitely suitable hosts of viruses and other disease agents" (Calisher et al., 2006: 531). ...
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In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we deem of importance the identification of what content is privileged in secondary schools around health and disease. From our point of view, a relevant task is to accompany science teachers in their transit from teaching information to be evoked to teaching knowledge on that content that enables students’ action. Accordingly, our aims in this article are (a) to move away from the extended biomedical approach to teaching topics around public health which some authors consider reductive and (b) to explore instead a multi-causal and multi-referential approach, conveyed through narratives. We examine the potential of the narrative format to provide context, information and relations that we think are useful for students to explain, through adequate scientific models, some aspects of pandemics.
... The sharing of space between wildlife and humans can be disruptive to both animals and people particularly in the context of altered habitat. Human pressure on wildlife influences species' community composition, population movement and density, resource provisioning [1,2], and eco-immunology [3], which can subsequently alter pathogen circulation among wildlife hosts as well as introduce conduits that allow the movement of pathogens from reservoir hosts to novel human hosts [4], with potentially catastrophic effects [5][6][7]. As such, the growing wildlife-human interface requires both improved surveillance of pathogen circulation among wildlife and a greater understanding of the impact of anthropogenic landscape change on wildlife communities, their pathogens, and mechanisms for potential spillover of novel pathogens to humans. ...
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Kyasanur forest disease virus (KFDV) is a rapidly expanding tick-borne zoonotic virus with natural foci in the forested region of the Western Ghats of South India. The Western Ghats is one of the world's most important biodiversity hotspots and, like many such areas of high biodiversity, is under significant pressure from anthropogenic landscape change. The current study sought to quantify mammalian species richness using ensemble models of the distributions of a sample of species extant in the Western Ghats and to explore its association with KFDV outbreaks, as well as the modifying effects of deforestation on this association. Species richness was quantified as a composite of individual species' distributions, as derived from ensembles of boosted regression tree, random forest, and generalised additive models. Species richness was further adjusted for the potential biotic constraints of sympatric species. Both species richness and forest loss demonstrated strong positive associations with KFDV outbreaks, however forest loss substantially modified the association between species richness and outbreaks. High species richness was associated with increased KFDV risk but only in areas of low forest loss. In contrast, lower species richness was associated with increased KFDV risk in areas of greater forest loss. This relationship persisted when species richness was adjusted for biotic constraints at the taluk-level. In addition, the taluk-level species abundances of three monkey species (Macaca radiata, Semnopithecus hypoleucus, and Semnopithecus priam) were also associated with outbreaks. These results suggest that increased monitoring of wildlife in areas of significant habitat fragmentation may add considerably to critical knowledge gaps in KFDV epidemiology and infection ecology and should be incorporated into novel One Health surveillance development for the region. In addition, the inclusion of some primate species as sentinels of KFDV circulation into general wildlife surveillance architecture may add further value.
... SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA enveloped virus belonging to beta coronaviruses of Coronavirinae family and Coronaviridae subfamily and order Nidovirales. It is a spherical shaped virus with numerus spike proteins projecting from the surface of the viral envelop giving the virus a crown-shaped appearance, these spikes mediate the viral binding to the host cell membrane either in human or animal body (6)(7)(8)(9). In Coronaviridae, seven viruses have been identified to precipitate human infection, four of them produce mild respiratory and gastrointestinal infections while the another three including SARS-CoV-1, MERS and the recent SARS-CoV-2 were reported to cause severe lower respiratory tract infections and categorized as dangerous strains because they resulted in serious pandemics throughout the world (10)(11). ...
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The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic has hit Africa hard, with Libya being among the worst-affected nations. However, there were few research studies about this pandemic and its effects in AL-Zawiyah city in particular and Libya in general. This research aimed to study and investigate the COVID-19 disease in AL-Zawiyah city from a variety of perspectives in order to identify and clarify potential risk factors, the most commonly used diagnostic technique, clinical features, various used therapeutic modalities for this disease, and the mortality rate. This research was a retrospective cohort study and it included 176 randomly chosen individuals who had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the period from 1st December,2020 to 28th February, 2021 in AL-Zawiyah city. The current study found that the average age of the COVID-19 patients was 45.06 years (SD 17.7), and the most dominant age groups were 15-<45 years (44.3%) and 45-<60 years (36.4%), respectively, and 58.5% of patients were females. Moreover, 76.1% of COVID-19 patients had a positive history of close contact with a COVID-19 patient before they had SARS-CoV-2 infection. The most common clinical manifestations were headache (77.3%), fatigue (73.3%), muscle aches (71.0%), loss of taste or smell (71.0%), fever (67.6%), cough (50.6%), breathing difficulty (49.4%), loss of appetite (42.6%), sore throat (42.0%) and chest pain (36.9%). Only 86.4% of COVID-19 patients were treated by the combined therapy (the traditional Libyan medicine {TLM} and the conventional COVID-19 therapy). Out of 176 COVID-19 patients, 19 (10.8%) died from SARS-CoV-2 infection. We concluded that the individuals with age group fall in 15-<60 years, the female gender and the positive history of close contact with a COVID-19 case are considered the potential risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection in AL-Zawiyah city.Our participants' clinical characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection were comparable to those reported in numerous studies, with notable differences in the most frequent and least common symptoms between ours and theirs, which might be due to differences in the environment and/or research design.TLM was used widely by our participants for treating this disease with combination by drugs. Although, the recovery percentage was high, the mortality was also very significant and it is six to seven folds higher than that reported by Libyan NCDC.
... Some outbreaks in humans involving paramyxoviruses, coronaviruses, and filoviruses have occurred through contact with an intermediate host that acts as an amplifier host [179,[200][201][202][203]. For example, palm civets and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) from live markets may have played a crucial role in outbreaks of human diseases such as those caused by SARS-CoV [202,204]. Since coronaviruses in nature were very poorly sampled until the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak, there is no data that definitively shows whether direct or indirect transmission is more plausible [205]. The bat reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 has yet to be identified and an intermediate host has yet to be confirmed. ...
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Rodents (order Rodentia), followed by bats (order Chiroptera), comprise the largest percentage of living mammals on earth. Thus, it is not surprising that these two orders account for many of the reservoirs of the zoonotic RNA viruses discovered to date. The spillover of these viruses from wildlife to human do not typically result in pandemics but rather geographically confined outbreaks of human infection and disease. While limited geographically, these viruses cause thousands of cases of human disease each year. In this review, we focus on three questions regarding zoonotic viruses that originate in bats and rodents. First, what biological strategies have evolved that allow RNA viruses to reside in bats and rodents? Second, what are the environmental and ecological causes that drive viral spillover? Third, how does virus spillover occur from bats and rodents to humans?
... HCoV-NL63 is assumed to be evolved by a recombination event of NL63-like viruses and 229E-like viruses circulating in bats (Tao, et al., 2017) and a spillover from bats to humans is assumed to happen 563 to 822 years ago (Huynh, et al., 2012). Meanwhile, both civet cats and raccoon dogs are possible intermediate hosts to the SARS-CoV (Wang et al., 2007, Guan et al., 2003. This article is protected by copyright. ...
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Objective: To trace and understand the origin of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) through various available literatures and accessible databases. Background: While the world enters the third year of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and the health and socio-economic impacts continue to mount, the origin and mechanisms of spill-over of the Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into humans, remain elusive. Methods: A systematic review of the literature is being showcased that integrated information obtained through manual searches, digital database (PubMed, CINAHL and MEDLINE) searches and searches from legitimate publications (1966-2022). Results: Our systematic analysis proposes three postulated hypotheses concerning the origin of the SARS-CoV-2, which include Zoonotic origin (Z), Laboratory origin (L) and obscure origin (O). Despite the fact that the zoonotic origin for SARS-CoV-2 has not been conclusively identified to date, our data suggest a zoonotic origin, in contrast to some alternative concepts, including the probability of a laboratory incident or leak. Conclusions: Our data exhibits that Zoonotic origin (Z) has higher evidence-based support as compared to Laboratory origin (L). Importantly, based on all the studies included, we generated the forest plot with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of the risk ratio estimates. Our analysis showed that the black diamond supports the zoonotic origin of SARS/SARS-CoV-2 in the included studies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Coronavirus disease was spread in December 2019 and was recognized as a zoonotic disease (Drosten et al., 2017;Andersen et al., 2020). Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus was detected in sputum samples in 2003, and advanced stages in fecal samples may have been transmitted to humans by an intermediate host such as bats and civets (Wang and Eaton, 2007;Graham and Baric, 2010). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) can be transmitted from an unknown carrier to a healthy person who could infect many people. ...
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The outbreak and rapid spread of coronavirus disease caused by coronavirus-2 (COVID -19), which caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) and started in Wuhan, has become a global problem because of the high rate of human-to-human transmission and severe respiratory infections. Because of the high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2, which threatens many people worldwide, rapid diagnosis and simple treatment are needed. Therefore, early diagnosis and application of treatment strategies are critical for the effective control of this disease. Genome editing is an approach to altering the genome, which depends on nucleic acid (DNA) by artificially altering genetic information and inducing irreversible changes in the function of the altered gene. Clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR/Cas) could be a practical and straightforward approach to this disease. The CRISPR/Cas system contains the Cas protein, controlled by a small RNA molecule to create a double-stranded DNA gap. According to the researchers, CRISPR/Cas has also been studied for its potential use in diagnosing and treating SARS-CoV-2 infections. Another aspect of this research addressed potential future problems with CRISPR/Cas applications.
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The COVID-19 pandemic is widely seen as a failure of global health and pandemic preparedness. But where precisely does that failure lie? This chapter argues that many aspects of the pandemic preparedness regime worked as designed, suggesting a broader failure in the overall vision of global health security, including its focus on virus discovery and ‘early warning’ of outbreaks. Contrasting global health and planetary health as two distinct morphologies of health surveillance and intervention—each taking up the problem of emerging disease according to different spatial and formal logics—the chapter points toward new approaches to pandemic preparedness built on the management of social, ecological, and planetary drivers of disease emergence.KeywordsGlobal healthPlanetary healthSurveillancePreparednessGlobal virome
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Coronaviruses cause respiratory and digestive diseases in vertebrates. The recent pandemic, caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus 2, is taking a heavy toll on society and planetary health, and illustrates the threat emerging coronaviruses can pose to the well-being of humans and other animals. Coronaviruses are constantly evolving, crossing host species barriers, and expanding their host range. In the last few decades, several novel coronaviruses have emerged in humans and domestic animals. Novel coronaviruses have also been discovered in captive wildlife or wild populations, raising conservation concerns. The evolution and emergence of novel viruses is enabled by frequent cross-species transmission. It is thus crucial to determine emerging coronaviruses' potential for infecting different host species, and to identify the circumstances under which cross-species transmission occurs in order to mitigate the rate of disease emergence. Here, I review (broadly across several mammalian host species) up-to-date knowledge of host range and circumstances concerning reported cross-species transmission events of emerging coronaviruses in humans and common domestic mammals. All of these coronaviruses had similar host ranges, were closely related (indicative of rapid diversification and spread), and their emergence was likely associated with high-host-density environments facilitating multi-species interactions (e.g., shelters, farms, and markets) and the health or well-being of animals as end- and/or intermediate spillover hosts. Further research is needed to identify mechanisms of the cross-species transmission events that have ultimately led to a surge of emerging coronaviruses in multiple species in a relatively short period of time in a world undergoing rapid environmental change.
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The drivers underpinning the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and climate change attest to the fact that we are now living in the Anthropocene Epoch, with human activities significantly impacting and altering the global ecosystem. Here, we explore the historical context of zoonoses, the effect of anthropogenic climate change and interrelated drivers on the emergence of, and response to emerging infectious diseases. We call attention to an urgent need for inculcating a One Health research agenda that acknowledges the primary interconnection between animals, humans, pathogens, and their collective milieus to foster long term resilience across all systems within our shared planetary environment.
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A preliminary analysis of viral genomes suggests the COVID-19 pandemic might have multiple animal origins — but the findings still have to be peer reviewed. A preliminary analysis of viral genomes suggests the COVID-19 pandemic might have multiple animal origins — but the findings still have to be peer reviewed. Credit: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Raccoon dogs in their cages at a farm which breeds animals for fur in Zhangjiakou, in China's Hebei province. Raccoon dogs in their cages at a farm which breeds animals for fur in Zhangjiakou, in China's Hebei province.
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Coronaviruses (CoVs) belong to a large family (Coronaviridae), have a global distribution, and cause respiratory and intestinal infections in animals, birds, and humans. Usually, these viruses cause common cold, which is typically mild in humans, although rarer forms such as severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome can be lethal. CoVs cause an upper respiratory disease in chickens, but diarrhea in cows and pigs. The newly emerging pandemic, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (nSARS-CoV-2), which first appeared in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and thereafter spread throughout the globe and declared as a pandemic disease by the World Health Organization. It has been postulated that the virus was transmitted to humans from bats through an evolutionary process termed as ‘host jump’, resulting in a cross talk about animal-human interface and zoonotic links of nSARS-CoV-2 and urging an intensive investigation of the involvement of animals or birds. Later, several animals such as dogs, cats, tigers, pangolins, ferrets, and minks were found to be naturally infected with nSARS-CoV-2. Additionally, laboratory animals such as mice, ferrets, and monkeys were successfully infected with the virus. Animal CoVs share some common features with nSARS-CoV-2. Although nSARS-CoV-2 is of animal origin, the roles of animals in the course of the pandemic are still elusive. This chapter discusses the predicted roles of animals in the COVID-19 pandemic, along with comparisons of nSARS-CoV-2 with other animal CoVs.
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Heute sind neun Virusfamilien bekannt, deren Vertreter eine einzelsträngige RNA in Plusstrangorientierung besitzen und in der Lage sind, Infektionserkrankungen in Menschen oder Wirbeltieren zu verursachen: Die Familie der Picornaviridae wird zusammen mit den Dicistro-, Ifla-, Polycipi- und Secoviridae in die Ordnung der Picornavirales gruppiert. Die Caliciviridae, Astroviridae und Hepeviridae wurden bisher in keine Ordnung eingruppiert.
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Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) of zoonotic origin appear, affect a population and can spread rapidly. At the beginning of 2020 the World Health Organization pronounced an emergency public health advisory because of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak, and declared that Covid-19 had reached the level of a pandemic, rapidly spreading around the world. In order to identify one of the origins of EIDs, and propose some control alternatives, an extensive review was conducted of the available literature. The problem can originate in live animal markets, where animal species of all kinds, from different origins, ecosystems and taxonomic groups are caged and crowded together, sharing the same unsanitary and unnatural space, food, water, and also the ecto- and endoparasitic vectors of disease. They defecate on each other, leading to the exchange of pathogenic and parasitic microorganisms, forcing interactions among species that should never happen. This is the ideal scenario for causing zoonoses and outbreaks of EIDs. We must start by stopping the illegal collection and sale of wild animals in markets. The destruction of ecosystems and forests also promote zoonoses and outbreaks of EIDs. Science and knowledge should be the basis of the decisions and policies for the development of management strategies. Wildlife belongs in its natural habitat, which must be defended, conserved and restored at all costs.
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Since its emergence in China in December 2019, COVID-19 remains the recent leading disease of concern drawing the public health attention globally. The disease is known of viral origin and zoonotic nature originating from animals. However, to date neither the source of the spillover nor the intermediate hosts are identified. Moreover, the public health situation is intermittently aggravated by identification of new animals susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 infection, potentially replicating the virus and maintaining intra and interspecies spread of the disease. Although the role of a given animal and/or its produce is important to map the disease pattern, continuous efforts should be undertaken to further understand the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2, a vital step to establish effective disease prevention and control strategy. This manuscript attempted to review updates regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection at the human-animal interface with consideration to postulations on the genetic relatedness and origin of the different SARS-CoV-2 variants isolated from different animal species. Also, the review addresses the possible role of different animal species and their produce in transmission of the disease. Also, the manuscript discussed the contamination potentiality of the virus and its environmental stability. Finally, we reviewed the currently instituted measures to prevent and manage the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The manuscript suggested the One Health based control measures that could prove of value for the near future.
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Corona viruses (CoVs) are enveloped RNA viruses that infect a broad array of avian and mammalian species, including humans. The existence of these viruses is believed to have occurred thousands of years ago as animal CoVs; bats, birds, rodents were reported to be natural reservoirs. They garnered scientific attention after their emergence as human pathogens, till date, seven corona viruses were reported to infect humans, with mild to moderate and/or severe respiratory illness. The ongoing pandemic COVID-19 is caused by one of such Corona viruses named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus -2 (SARS-CoV-2), which surprised all with its unprecedented transmission dynamics and etiology. This virus surged twice within a gap of a year all over the world and became a major health concern to many nations. Most of these Corona viruses transferred to humans through intermediate hosts. Here, in this chapter, we summarized the structural and genomic features of the Coronaviruses in general and emphasizing the SARS CoV-2 and added an account of the different vaccines and their production platforms in combating the pandemic. We briefly discussed the evolution of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 and their role in the surge of COVID-19 infections. We tried to give a brief account of the historical aspects, cross-species transmission, mutations/recombinations scenarios of CoVs with a note on their emergence as human pathogens and future prospects of recurrence.
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The pandemic with the novel coronavirus (SARSCoV-2) has led to infections and deaths worldwide. Apart from humans, certain animal species are susceptible to the viral infection. Spillover between humans and animals is favored by close contact; thus, surveillance of animals is an important component to fight the pandemic from a One Health perspective. The Clinical Laboratory of the Vetsuisse Faculty Zurich has been investigating SARS-CoV-2 infections in animals since the beginning of the pandemic. In November 2020, the first SARS-CoV-2 positive Swiss cat was reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE-WAHIS). The cat showed respiratory signs and lived in a COVID-19 affected household. By now, over 500 natural SARS-CoV-2 infections have been recorded in animals worldwide. A prevalence study on SARS-CoV-2 infections in dogs and cats was carried out together with clinics from Germany and Italy during the first wave of the pandemic (March–July 2020). Among the tested 1137 animals, only one cat and one dog were positive. The prevalence of infection in dogs and cats presented to veterinary clinics was low, even in pandemic hotspot regions. However, recent studies that focused on animals in COVID-19 households found a higher prevalence of infection. A study is currently underway that specifically collects samples from pets from Swiss COVID-19 affected household and collects data on human-animal interaction.
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Infectious diseases emerge via many routes and may need to overcome stepwise bottlenecks to burgeon into epidemics and pandemics. About 60% of human infections have animal origins, whereas 40% either co-evolved with humans or emerged from non-zoonotic environmental sources. Although the dynamic interaction between wildlife, domestic animals, and humans is important for the surveillance of zoonotic potential, exotic origins tend to be overemphasized since many zoonoses come from anthropophilic wild species (for example, rats and bats). We examine the equivocal evidence of whether the appearance of novel infections is accelerating and relate technological developments to the risk of novel disease outbreaks. Then we briefly compare selected epidemics, ancient and modern, from the Plague of Athens to COVID-19.
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We are still in the early stage of 21st century and the two pandemics Spanish flu and COVID-19 are the presentative pandemics in 20th and 21st centuries, respectively. The Spanish flu pandemic raged from 1918 to 1920, just after World War I. It was the first influenza pandemic worldwide; since then, humankind has experienced many such pandemics. Spanish flu is caused by a virus. However, since virology was not well established at that time, the new clinical system was needed to cope with “unknown pathogen”; during the pandemic, high infection rates were recorded, but our predecessors managed to somehow tackle the situation. With respect to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, both the virus and its genome were clarified quickly. Nonetheless, it has turned out to be quite an intriguing infectious disease, with the high rates in developed countries, such as the US and those in Europe, which have aging societies, and low rates in developing countries such as those in Africa, where the population is largely young. Here, I compared and discuss the two pandemics, COVID-19 and Spanish flu.
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Novel coronaviruses emerged as zoonotic outbreaks in humans in 2003 (SARS), 2012 (MERS), and notably in 2019 (SARS2), which resulted in the COVID-19 pandemic, causing worldwide health and economic disaster. Vaccines provide the best protection against disease but cannot be developed and engineered quickly enough to prevent emerging viruses, zoonotic outbreaks, and pandemics. Antivirals are the best first line of therapeutic defense against novel emerging viruses. Coronaviruses are plus sense, single stranded, RNA genome viruses that undergo frequent genetic mutation and recombination, allowing for the emergence of novel coronavirus strains and variants. The molecular life cycle of the coronavirus family offers many conserved activities to be exploited as targets for antivirals. Here, we review the molecular life cycle of coronaviruses and consider antiviral therapies, approved and under development, that target the conserved activities of coronaviruses. To identify additional targets to inhibit emerging coronaviruses, we carried out in silico sequence and structure analysis of coronavirus proteins isolated from bat and human hosts. We highlight conserved and accessible viral protein domains and residues as possible targets for the development of viral inhibitors. Devising multiple antiviral therapies that target conserved viral features to be used in combination is the best first line of therapeutic defense to prevent emerging viruses from developing into outbreaks and pandemics.
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Background The masked palm civet (Paguma larvata) acts as an intermediate host of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which caused SARS, and transfered this virus from bats to humans. Additionally, P. larvata has the potential to carry a variety of zoonotic viruses that may threaten human health. However, genome resources for P. larvata have not been reported to date. Findings A chromosome-level genome assembly of P. larvata was generated using PacBio sequencing, Illumina sequencing, and Hi-C technology. The genome assembly was 2.44 Gb in size, of which 95.32% could be grouped into 22 pseudochromosomes, with contig N50 and scaffold N50 values of 12.97 Mb and 111.81 Mb, respectively. A total of 21,582 protein-coding genes were predicted, and 95.20% of the predicted genes were functionally annotated. Phylogenetic analysis of 19 animal species confirmed the close genetic relationship between P. larvata and species belonging to the Felidae family. Gene family clustering revealed 119 unique, 243 significantly expanded, and 58 significantly contracted genes in the P. larvata genome. We identified 971 positively selected genes in P. larvata, and one known human viral receptor gene PDGFRA is positively selected in P. larvata, which is required for human cytomegalovirus infection. Conclusions This high-quality genome assembly provides a valuable genomic resource for exploring virus–host interactions. It will also provide a reliable reference for studying the genetic bases of the morphologic characteristics, adaptive evolution, and evolutionary history of this species.
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A combination of climate change and accelerated population growth is instigating some of the worst challenges that humankind faces today that include resource depletion and degradation. Both built environment and ecological infrastructure have been modified and are creating novel socioecological interactions posing the risk of novel infectious diseases transmission to humans. The experiences of the COVID-19 exposed the vulnerability of human health from wildlife and the risk of novel socioecological interactions on livelihoods. This chapter enhances the preparedness and improves the resilience against novel pathogens by assessing vulnerability and the available options to reduce risk through the water–health–ecosystem–nutrition nexus. As a transformative, nexus planning provides integrated pathways toward resilience and preparedness to reduce health risks on humans posed by novel pathogens. A systematic review of literature facilitated an understanding of the trends of novel infectious diseases and the available options to improve sanitation, nutrition, and adaptative capacity in the advent of novel socioecological interactions. The aim is to guide policy formulations to achieve Sustainable Development Goals such as 3 (good health and wellbeing), 6 (clean water and sanitation), and 13 (climate action). Risk reduction framing in the health sector through nexus planning provides pathways toward healthy environments and mutual socioecological interactions.
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Resumen La pandemia de COVID-19 ha hecho evidente la importancia de la interfaz animal-humano-medio ambiente en la emergencia de zoonosis. A pesar de que el salto de especie se considera un evento raro, el número de enfermedades infecciosas emergentes aumentó de manera significativa en la segunda mitad del siglo xx, siendo estas principalmente de carácter zoonótico y originadas en la fauna silvestre. Entre los determinantes asociados a la emergencia de zoonosis destacan la interacción humana con los ecosistemas, la pérdida de biodiversidad, los cambios en el uso del suelo, el cambio climático, el comercio y el consumo de fauna silvestre, etc. En el proceso del salto de especie existen diferentes fases de adaptación evolutiva entre el patógeno y la especie humana, variando desde su presencia en el reservorio animal sin infección humana hasta enfermedades exclusivamente humanas sin otros reservorios. El conocimiento de la evolución natural de las zoonosis permite identificar los puntos críticos para su control, al tiempo que posibilita identificar posibles candidatos para futuras pandemias. De forma específica, los avances en el conocimiento de los posibles reservorios del SARS-CoV-2 han contribuido a la toma de decisiones durante la pandemia. Por todo ello, y ante la variedad de escenarios que posibilitan el salto de especie y la evolución de los diferentes patógenos en un nuevo huésped, la vigilancia frente a la emergencia de zoonosis debe plantearse bajo la estrategia One Health.
Article
In 1977, the world witnessed both the eradication of smallpox and the beginning of the modern age of genomics. Over the following half-century, 7 epidemic viruses of international concern galvanized virologists across the globe and led to increasingly extensive virus genome sequencing. These sequencing efforts exerted over periods of rapid adaptation of viruses to new hosts, in particular, humans provide insight into the molecular mechanisms underpinning virus evolution. Investment in virus genome sequencing was dramatically increased by the unprecedented support for phylogenomic analyses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this review, we attempt to piece together comprehensive molecular histories of the adaptation of variola virus, HIV-1 M, SARS, H1N1-SIV, MERS, Ebola, Zika, and SARS-CoV-2 to the human host. Disruption of genes involved in virus-host interaction in animal hosts, recombination including genome segment reassortment, and adaptive mutations leading to amino acid replacements in virus proteins involved in host receptor binding and membrane fusion are identified as the key factors in the evolution of epidemic viruses.
Article
Based on CoVs, the genomic structure is arranged in a +ssRNA with approximately 30kb in length which is the biggest known RNA viruses including a 5′-cap structure and 3′-poly-A tail. CoVs, (positive stranded RNA viruses), can infect humans and multiple species of animals, cause enteric, respiratory, and central nervous system diseases in many species. These viruses are important for anti-CoV drug delivery through a pivotal function in viral gene expression and replication through the proteolytic processing of replicase polyproteins. In this paper, it has been illustrated the linkage of 6 inhibitors of N-[[4-(4-methylpiperazin-1-yl)phenyl]methyl]-1,2-oxazole-5-carboxamide, “inh1”, NSC 158362, “inh2”,JMF 1586 ,”inh3”,(N-(2-aminoethyl)-1-1ziridine-ethanamine) , “inh4” ,[(Z)-1-thiophen-2-ylethylideneamino]thiourea, “inh5” and Vanillinbananin, “inh6”, to CoVs by forming the complexes of “inhibitor- CoV” in water phase through the H-bonding using some physico-chemical properties including heat of formation , Gibbs free energy , electronic energy , charge distribution of active parts in the hydrogen bonding ,NMR estimation of inhibitor jointed to the database amino acids fragment of Tyr-Met-His as the selective zone of the CoV, positive frequency and intensity of different normal modes of these structures.The theoretical calculations were done at various levels of theory in water simulated medium to gain the more accurate equilibrium geometrical results, and infrared spectral data for each of the complex proposed drugs of N-terminal or O-terminal auto-cleavage substrate were individually determined to elucidate the structural flexibility and substrate binding of six inhibitors including jointed to TMH, inh[ 1 – 6 ]-TMH. A comparison of these structures with two configurations provides new insights for the design of substrate-based inhibitors targeting CoV. This indicates a feasible model for designing wide-spectrum inhibitors against CoV-associated diseases.The structure-based optimization of these structures has yielded two more efficacious lead compounds, N and O atoms through forming the hydrogen bonding (hydrogen-bonding) with potent inhibition against CoV (Tyr160-Met161-His162) because of water polar medium which has been abbreviated as TMH in this paper.
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Sixty-one SARS coronavirus genomic sequences derived from the early, middle, and late phases of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic were analyzed together with two viral sequences from palm civets. Genotypes characteristic of each phase were discovered, and the earliest genotypes were similar to the animal SARS-like coronaviruses. Major deletions were observed in the Orf8 region of the genome, both at the start and the end of the epidemic. The neutral mutation rate of the viral genome was constant but the amino acid substitution rate of the coding sequences slowed during the course of the epidemic. The spike protein showed the strongest initial responses to positive selection pressures, followed by subsequent purifying selection and eventual stabilization.
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The reservoir of the coronavirus isolated from patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
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We sequenced the 29,751-base genome of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus known as the Tor2 isolate. The genome sequence reveals that this coronavirus is only moderately related to other known coronaviruses, including two human coronaviruses, HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E. Phylogenetic analysis of the predicted viral proteins indicates that the virus does not closely resemble any of the three previously known groups of coronaviruses. The genome sequence will aid in the diagnosis of SARS virus infection in humans and potential animal hosts (using polymerase chain reaction and immunological tests), in the development of antivirals (including neutralizing antibodies), and in the identification of putative epitopes for vaccine development.
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A novel coronavirus (SCoV) is the etiological agent of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). SCoV-like viruses were isolated from Himalayan palm civets found in a live-animal market in Guangdong, China. Evidence of virus infection was also detected in other animals (including a raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonoides) and in humans working at the same market. All the animal isolates retain a 29-nucleotide sequence that is not found in most human isolates. The detection of SCoV-like viruses in small, live wild mammals in a retail market indicates a route of interspecies transmission, although the natural reservoir is not known.
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Superspreading events were pivotal in the global spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). We investigated superspreading in one transmission chain early in Beijing's epidemic. Superspreading was defined as transmission of SARS to at least eight contacts. An index patient with onset of SARS 2 months after hospital admission was the source of four generations of transmission to 76 case-patients, including 12 healthcare workers and several hospital visitors. Four (5%) case circumstances met the superspreading definition. Superspreading appeared to be associated with older age (mean 56 vs. 44 years), case fatality (75% vs. 16%, p = 0.02, Fisher exact test), number of close contacts (36 vs. 0.37) and attack rate among close contacts (43% vs. 18.5%, p < 0.025). Delayed recognition of SARS in a hospitalized patient permitted transmission to patients, visitors, and healthcare workers. Older age and number of contacts merit investigation in future studies of superspreading.
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An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in humans, associated with a new coronavirus, was reported in Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America in early 2003. To address speculations that the virus originated in domesticated animals, or that domestic species were susceptible to the virus, we inoculated 6-week-old pigs and chickens intravenously, intranasally, ocularly, and orally with 106 PFU of SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Clinical signs did not develop in any animal, nor were gross pathologic changes evident on postmortem examinations. Attempts at virus isolation were unsuccessful; however, viral RNA was detected by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in blood of both species during the first week after inoculation, and in chicken organs at 2 weeks after inoculation. Virus-neutralizing antibodies developed in the pigs. Our results indicate that these animals do not play a role as amplifying hosts for SARS-CoV.
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Using immunofluorescence and neutralization assays, we detected antibodies to human severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and/or animal SARS-CoV-like virus in 17 (1.8%) of 938 adults recruited in 2001. This finding suggests that a small proportion of healthy persons in Hong Kong had been exposed to SARS-related viruses at least 2 years before the recent SARS outbreak.
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Three human coronaviruses are known to exist: human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E), HCoV-OC43 and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Here we report the identification of a fourth human coronavirus, HCoV-NL63, using a new method of virus discovery. The virus was isolated from a 7-month-old child suffering from bronchiolitis and conjunctivitis. The complete genome sequence indicates that this virus is not a recombinant, but rather a new group 1 coronavirus. The in vitro host cell range of HCoV-NL63 is notable because it replicates on tertiary monkey kidney cells and the monkey kidney LLC-MK2 cell line. The viral genome contains distinctive features, including a unique N-terminal fragment within the spike protein. Screening of clinical specimens from individuals suffering from respiratory illness identified seven additional HCoV-NL63-infected individuals, indicating that the virus was widely spread within the human population.
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SARS coronavirus injected intratracheally into chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, and quail, or into the allantoic sac of their embryonating eggs, failed to cause disease or replicate. This finding suggests that domestic poultry were unlikely to have been the reservoir, or associated with dissemination, of SARS coronavirus in the animal markets of southern China.
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An epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) began in Foshan municipality, Guangdong Province, China, in November 2002. We studied SARS case reports through April 30, 2003, including data from case investigations and a case series analysis of index cases. A total of 1,454 clinically confirmed cases (and 55 deaths) occurred; the epidemic peak was in the first week of February 2003. Healthcare workers accounted for 24% of cases. Clinical signs and symptoms differed between children (<18 years) and older persons (> or =65 years). Several observations support the hypothesis of a wild animal origin for SARS. Cases apparently occurred independently in at least five different municipalities; early case-patients were more likely than later patients to report living near a produce market (odds ratio undefined; lower 95% confidence interval 2.39) but not near a farm; and 9 (39%) of 23 early patients, including 6 who lived or worked in Foshan, were food handlers with probable animal contact.
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This paper reviews current understanding of the epidemiology, transmission dynamics and control of the aetiological agent of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). We present analyses of data on key parameters and distributions and discuss the processes of data capture, analysis and public health policy formulation during the SARS epidemic are discussed. The low transmissibility of the virus, combined with the onset of peak infectiousness following the onset of clinical symptoms of disease, transpired to make simple public health measures, such as isolating patients and quarantining their contacts, very effective in the control of the SARS epidemic. We conclude that we were lucky this time round, but may not be so with the next epidemic outbreak of a novel aetiological agent. We present analyses that help to further understanding of what intervention measures are likely to work best with infectious agents of defined biological and epidemiological properties. These lessons learnt from the SARS experience are presented in an epidemiological and public health context.
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Murine models of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) will greatly advance research on this emerging virus. When BALB/c mice were simultaneously inoculated intranasally and orally, replication of SARS-CoV was found in both lung and intestinal tissue.
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Four cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that occurred from December 16, 2003, to January 8, 2004, in the city of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, were investigated. Clinical specimens collected from these patients were tested by provincial and national laboratories in China as well as members of the World Health Organization SARS Reference and Verification Laboratory Network in a collaborative effort to identify and confirm SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection. Although SARS-CoV was not isolated from any patient, specimens from three patients were positive for viral RNA by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay, and all patients had detectable rises in SARS-CoV-specific antibodies. This study shows the effectiveness of a collaborative, multilaboratory response to diagnose SARS.
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Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was caused by a previously unrecognized animal coronavirus that exploited opportunities provided by 'wet markets' in southern China to adapt to become a virus readily transmissible between humans. Hospitals and international travel proved to be 'amplifiers' that permitted a local outbreak to achieve global dimensions. In this review we will discuss the substantial scientific progress that has been made towards understanding the virus-SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-and the disease. We will also highlight the progress that has been made towards developing vaccines and therapies The concerted and coordinated response that contained SARS is a triumph for global public health and provides a new paradigm for the detection and control of future emerging infectious disease threats.
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Despite extensive laboratory investigations in patients with respiratory tract infections, no microbiological cause can be identified in a significant proportion of patients. In the past 3 years, several novel respiratory viruses, including human metapneumovirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and human coronavirus NL63, were discovered. Here we report the discovery of another novel coronavirus, coronavirus HKU1 (CoV-HKU1), from a 71-year-old man with pneumonia who had just returned from Shenzhen, China. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR showed that the amount of CoV-HKU1 RNA was 8.5 to 9.6 x 10(6) copies per ml in his nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPAs) during the first week of the illness and dropped progressively to undetectable levels in subsequent weeks. He developed increasing serum levels of specific antibodies against the recombinant nucleocapsid protein of CoV-HKU1, with immunoglobulin M (IgM) titers of 1:20, 1:40, and 1:80 and IgG titers of <1:1,000, 1:2,000, and 1:8,000 in the first, second and fourth weeks of the illness, respectively. Isolation of the virus by using various cell lines, mixed neuron-glia culture, and intracerebral inoculation of suckling mice was unsuccessful. The complete genome sequence of CoV-HKU1 is a 29,926-nucleotide, polyadenylated RNA, with G+C content of 32%, the lowest among all known coronaviruses with available genome sequence. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that CoV-HKU1 is a new group 2 coronavirus. Screening of 400 NPAs, negative for SARS-CoV, from patients with respiratory illness during the SARS period identified the presence of CoV-HKU1 RNA in an additional specimen, with a viral load of 1.13 x 10(6) copies per ml, from a 35-year-old woman with pneumonia. Our data support the existence of a novel group 2 coronavirus associated with pneumonia in humans.
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Molecular characterization of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus has revealed genetic diversity among isolates. The spike (S) glycoprotein, the major target for vaccine and immune therapy, shows up to 17 substitutions in its 1,255-aa sequence; however, the biologic significance of these changes is unknown. Here, the functional effects of S mutations have been determined by analyzing their affinity for a viral receptor, human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE-2), and their sensitivity to Ab neutralization with viral pseudotypes. Although minor differences among eight strains transmitted during human outbreaks in early 2003 were found, substantial functional changes were detected in S derived from a case in late 2003 from Guangdong province [S(GD03T0013)] and from two palm civets, S(SZ3) and S(SZ16). S(GD03T0013) depended less on the hACE-2 receptor and was markedly resistant to Ab inhibition. Unexpectedly, Abs that neutralized most human S glycoproteins enhanced entry mediated by the civet virus S glycoproteins. The mechanism of enhancement involved the interaction of Abs with conformational epitopes in the hACE-2-binding domain. Finally, improved immunogens and mAbs that minimize this complication have been defined. These data show that the entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses can be enhanced by Abs, and they underscore the need to address the evolving diversity of this newly emerged virus for vaccines and immune therapies. • angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 • enhancement • immunoglobulin G • pseudovirus
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Using three different assays, we examined 103 serum samples collected from different civet farms and a market in China in June 2003 and January 2004. While civets on farms were largely free from SARS-CoV infection, approximately 80% of the animals from one animal market in Guangzhou contained significant levels of antibody to SARS-CoV, which suggests no widespread infection among civets resident on farms, and the infection of civets in the market might be associated with trading activities under the conditions of overcrowding and mixing of various animal species.
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Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was caused by a novel virus now known as SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The discovery of SARS-CoV-like viruses in masked palm civets (Paguma larvata) raises the possibility that civets play a role in SARS-CoV transmission. To test the susceptibility of civets to experimental infection by different SARS-CoV isolates, 10 civets were inoculated with two human isolates of SARS-CoV, BJ01 (with a 29-nucleotide deletion) and GZ01 (without the 29-nucleotide deletion). All inoculated animals displayed clinical symptoms, such as fever, lethargy, and loss of aggressiveness, and the infection was confirmed by virus isolation, detection of viral genomic RNA, and serum-neutralizing antibodies. Our data show that civets were equally susceptible to SARS-CoV isolates GZ01 and BJ01.
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Exotic wildlife can act as reservoirs of diseases that are endemic in the area or can be the source of new emerging diseases through interspecies transmission. The recent emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) highlights the importance of virus surveillance in wild animals. Here, we report the identification of a novel bat coronavirus through surveillance of coronaviruses in wildlife. Analyses of the RNA sequence from the ORF1b and S-gene regions indicated that the virus is a group 1 coronavirus. The virus was detected in fecal and respiratory samples from three bat species (Miniopterus spp.). In particular, 63% (12 of 19) of fecal samples from Miniopterus pusillus were positive for the virus. These findings suggest that this virus might be commonly circulating in M. pusillus in Hong Kong.
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The genomic sequences of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses from human and palm civet of the 2003/2004 outbreak in the city of Guangzhou, China, were nearly identical. Phylogenetic analysis suggested an independent viral invasion from animal to human in this new episode. Combining all existing data but excluding singletons, we identified 202 single-nucleotide variations. Among them, 17 are polymorphic in palm civets only. The ratio of nonsynonymous/synonymous nucleotide substitution in palm civets collected 1 yr apart from different geographic locations is very high, suggesting a rapid evolving process of viral proteins in civet as well, much like their adaptation in the human host in the early 2002-2003 epidemic. Major genetic variations in some critical genes, particularly the Spike gene, seemed essential for the transition from animal-to-human transmission to human-to-human transmission, which eventually caused the first severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak of 2002/2003.
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Severe acute respiratory syndrome–associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was isolated from a pig during a survey for possible routes of viral transmission after a SARS epidemic. Sequence and epidemiology analyses suggested that the pig was infected by a SARS-CoV of human origin.