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Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(7): 1811-1820, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278358


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread globally, and the number of worldwide cases continues to rise. The zoonotic origins of SARS-CoV-2 and its intermediate and potential spillback host reservoirs, besides humans, remain largely unknown. Because of ethical and experimental constraints and more important, to reduce and refine animal experimentation, we used our repository of well-differentiated airway epithelial cell (AEC) cultures from various domesticated and wildlife animal species to assess their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. We observed that SARS-CoV-2 replicated efficiently only in monkey and cat AEC culture models. Whole-genome sequencing of progeny viruses revealed no obvious signs of nucleotide transitions required for SARS-CoV-2 to productively infect monkey and cat AEC cultures. Our findings, together with previous reports of human-to-animal spillover events, warrant close surveillance to determine the potential role of cats, monkeys, and closely related species as spillback reservoirs for SARS-CoV-2.

Animals, Wild , COVID-19 , Animals , Epithelial Cells , Humans , Respiratory System , SARS-CoV-2
Cells ; 9(9):2085, 2020.
Article | MDPI | ID: covidwho-770468


Feline coronaviruses (FCoVs) infect both wild and domestic cat populations world-wide. FCoVs present as two main biotypes: the mild feline enteric coronavirus (FECV) and the fatal feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV). FIPV develops through mutations from FECV during a persistence infection. So far, the molecular mechanism of FECV-persistence and contributing factors for FIPV development may not be studied, since field FECV isolates do not grow in available cell culture models. In this work, we aimed at establishing feline ileum and colon organoids that allow the propagation of field FECVs. We have determined the best methods to isolate, culture and passage feline ileum and colon organoids. Importantly, we have demonstrated using GFP-expressing recombinant field FECV that colon organoids are able to support infection of FECV, which were unable to infect traditional feline cell culture models. These organoids in combination with recombinant FECVs can now open the door to unravel the molecular mechanisms by which FECV can persist in the gut for a longer period of time and how transition to FIPV is achieved.