Surveillance of coronaviruses in cattle and pigs with emphasis on the zoonotic risk

01 August 2021 → 31 July 2024
Federal funding: various
Research disciplines
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Veterinary genetics
    • Veterinary internal medicine and pathophysiology
    • Veterinary microbiology
coronavirus virology strain typing sequencing
Project description

The importance of certain coronaviruses in veterinary medicine is long known. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the zoonotic importance of coronaviruses was emphasized. Despita that humans live in close contact with ruminants and pigs, porcine and bovine cornaviruses are not surveilled. A step-wise approach will be followed to estimate the risk of these coronaviruses for animal and human health. (i) By means of metagenomics samples from pigs, wild boar and cattle will be screened, providing a realistic estimate of circulating strains. (ii). Viruses will be isolated to be antigenetically characterised and fully sequenced. In this way we can fill in the gaps in the databank on porcine and bovine coronavirus genome sequences, detect recombinants and mutants, determine relationship between coronaviruses from different animal species and include the recently isolated strains in experimental research. (iii) The zoonotic and pandemic risk of the recently colleced isolates will be estimate. Important parameters are (a) replication efficiency in humans and the ability to spread between humans; (b) exisisting human immunity and potential cross protection to porcine and bovine cornaviruses, (c) available antiviral means and (d) seroprevalence in the animal population. These studies will deliver information on the prevalence and importance of porcine and bovine cornaviruses voor humans and animals.