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1.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374532

ABSTRACT

To date, no evidence supports the fact that animals play a role in the epidemiology of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, several animal species are naturally susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Besides pets (cats, dogs, Syrian hamsters, and ferrets) and farm animals (minks), different zoo animal species have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (large felids and non-human primates). After the summer of 2020, a second wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection occurred in Barcelona (Spain), reaching a peak of positive cases in November. During that period, four lions (Panthera leo) at the Barcelona Zoo and three caretakers developed respiratory signs and tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 antigen. Lion infection was monitored for several weeks and nasal, fecal, saliva, and blood samples were taken at different time-points. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in nasal samples from all studied lions and the viral RNA was detected up to two weeks after the initial viral positive test in three out of four animals. The SARS-CoV-2 genome was also detected in the feces of animals at different times. Virus isolation was successful only from respiratory samples of two lions at an early time-point. The four animals developed neutralizing antibodies after the infection that were detectable four months after the initial diagnosis. The partial SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence from one animal caretaker was identical to the sequences obtained from lions. Chronology of the events, the viral dynamics, and the genomic data support human-to-lion transmission as the origin of infection.


Subject(s)
Animal Diseases/virology , COVID-19/veterinary , Lions , SARS-CoV-2 , Animal Diseases/diagnosis , Animal Diseases/immunology , Animal Diseases/transmission , Animals , Animals, Wild , Animals, Zoo , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Genome, Viral , Genomics/methods , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Male , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spain
2.
Vet Rec ; 187(1): 39, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-821836

ABSTRACT

Reviewed by Zoe Miller, a resident in clinical pathology at the Royal Veterinary College.


Subject(s)
Animal Diseases/diagnosis , Skin Diseases/veterinary , Animals , Cytological Techniques/veterinary , Humans , Skin Diseases/diagnosis
3.
J Virol ; 94(18)2020 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-640272

ABSTRACT

In recent years, nidoviruses have emerged as important respiratory pathogens of reptiles, affecting captive python populations. In pythons, nidovirus (recently reclassified as serpentovirus) infection induces an inflammation of the upper respiratory and alimentary tract which can develop into a severe, often fatal proliferative pneumonia. We observed pyogranulomatous and fibrinonecrotic lesions in organ systems other than the respiratory tract during full postmortem examinations on 30 serpentovirus reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR)-positive pythons of varying species originating from Switzerland and Spain. The observations prompted us to study whether this not yet reported wider distribution of lesions is associated with previously unknown serpentoviruses or changes in the serpentovirus genome. RT-PCR and inoculation of Morelia viridis cell cultures served to recruit the cases and obtain virus isolates. Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining against serpentovirus nucleoprotein demonstrated that the virus infects not only a broad spectrum of epithelia (respiratory and alimentary epithelium, hepatocytes, renal tubules, pancreatic ducts, etc.), but also intravascular monocytes, intralesional macrophages, and endothelial cells. With next-generation sequencing we obtained a full-length genome for a novel serpentovirus species circulating in Switzerland. Analysis of viral genomes recovered from pythons showing serpentovirus infection-associated respiratory or systemic disease did not reveal sequence association to phenotypes; however, functional studies with different strains are needed to confirm this observation. The results indicate that serpentoviruses have a broad cell and tissue tropism, further suggesting that the course of infection could vary and involve lesions in a broad spectrum of tissues and organ systems as a consequence of monocyte-mediated viral systemic spread.IMPORTANCE During the last years, python nidoviruses (now reclassified as serpentoviruses) have become a primary cause of fatal disease in pythons. Serpentoviruses represent a threat to captive snake collections, as they spread rapidly and can be associated with high morbidity and mortality. Our study indicates that, different from previous evidence, the viruses do not only affect the respiratory tract, but can spread in the entire body with blood monocytes, have a broad spectrum of target cells, and can induce a variety of lesions. Nidovirales is an order of animal and human viruses that comprises important zoonotic pathogens such as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and SARS-CoV-2. Serpentoviruses belong to the same order as the above-mentioned human viruses and show similar characteristics (rapid spread, respiratory and gastrointestinal tropism, etc.). The present study confirms the relevance of natural animal diseases to better understand the complexity of viruses of the order Nidovirales.


Subject(s)
Nidovirales Infections/virology , Nidovirales/physiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Animal Diseases/diagnosis , Animal Diseases/virology , Animals , Biopsy , Boidae/virology , Disease Susceptibility , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Nidovirales/isolation & purification , Nidovirales Infections/diagnosis , Organ Specificity , Phenotype , Phylogeny , Recombination, Genetic , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Viral Tropism , Virus Shedding
4.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2203: 1-29, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-728129

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses (CoVs), enveloped positive-sense RNA viruses, are characterized by club-like spikes that project from their surface, an unusually large RNA genome, and a unique replication strategy. CoVs cause a variety of diseases in mammals and birds ranging from enteritis in cows and pigs, and upper respiratory tract and kidney disease in chickens to lethal human respiratory infections. Most recently, the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019, is the cause of a catastrophic pandemic, COVID-19, with more than 8 million infections diagnosed worldwide by mid-June 2020. Here we provide a brief introduction to CoVs discussing their replication, pathogenicity, and current prevention and treatment strategies. We will also discuss the outbreaks of the highly pathogenic Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which are relevant for understanding COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Animal Diseases/virology , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Chickens/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus/physiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Animal Diseases/diagnosis , Animal Diseases/epidemiology , Animal Diseases/prevention & control , Animals , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Cattle , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS Virus/pathogenicity , SARS Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/diagnosis , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Swine , Virion , Virus Replication
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