Bovine-Like Coronavirus Found in Giraffe
For the first time researchers isolated a bovine-like coronavirus from a giraffe, confirming transmissibility from cattle to wild ruminants. They report their findings in the May 2007 issue of the Journal of Virology.
Coronaviruses (CoVs) belong to the Coronaviridae family and are responsible for a wide range of diseases in domestic and wild animals, as well as common colds in humans. Bovine CoV is a member of the same group as human CoVs therefore emphasizing the importance of research focusing on adaptive mutations and interspecies transmission.
In the study CoV particles were collected from fecal samples of three giraffes with mild-to-severe diarrhea. One of the giraffe samples was subjected to a series of tests and results revealed a close biological relationship between the giraffe CoV (GiCoV-OH3) and bovine CoV strains. Researchers then orally inoculated calves with the giraffe coronavirus and observed severe diarrhea and virus shedding within 2 to 3 days.
"In summary, we demonstrated that wild-ruminant CoVs are biologically, antigenically, and genetically similar to bovine CoVs from domestic cattle, suggesting the possibility of interspecies transmission and adaptation of CoVs to new hosts among the ruminant species," say the researchers.
(M. Hasoksuz, K. Alekseev, A. Vlasova, X. Zhang, D. Spiro, R. Halpin, S. Wang, E. Ghedin, L.J. Saif. 2007. Biologic, antigenic, and full-length genomic characterization of a bovine-like coronavirus isolated from a giraffe. Journal of Virology, 81. 10: 4981-4990).
Bites from Mosquitoes Not Infected with Malaria May Protect Against Future Infection
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Contact: Carrie Patterson
American Society for Microbiology