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Viruses 2012, 4(12), 3689-3700; doi:10.3390/v4123689
Article

Identification and Characterization of a Novel Alpaca Respiratory Coronavirus Most Closely Related to the Human Coronavirus 229E

1,* , 2
,
3
 and
1
1 California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, University of California-Davis, Davis, West Health Sciences Drive, CA 95616, USA 2 North Carolina Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System, Raleigh, NC 27699, USA 3 GTCAllison, LLC, Mocksville, NC 27028, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2012 / Revised: 13 November 2012 / Accepted: 23 November 2012 / Published: 12 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perspectives and Challenges in Coronavirus Research)
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Abstract

In 2007, a novel coronavirus associated with an acute respiratory disease in alpacas (Alpaca Coronavirus, ACoV) was isolated. Full-length genomic sequencing of the ACoV demonstrated the genome to be consistent with other Alphacoronaviruses. A putative additional open-reading frame was identified between the nucleocapsid gene and 3'UTR. The ACoV was genetically most similar to the common human coronavirus (HCoV) 229E with 92.2% nucleotide identity over the entire genome. A comparison of spike gene sequences from ACoV and from HCoV-229E isolates recovered over a span of five decades showed the ACoV to be most similar to viruses isolated in the 1960’s to early 1980’s. The true origin of the ACoV is unknown, however a common ancestor between the ACoV and HCoV-229E appears to have existed prior to the 1960’s, suggesting virus transmission, either as a zoonosis or anthroponosis, has occurred between alpacas and humans.
Keywords: alpaca; human; coronavirus; reverse zoonosis; anthroponosis; respiratory; molecular evolution alpaca; human; coronavirus; reverse zoonosis; anthroponosis; respiratory; molecular evolution
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Crossley, B.M.; Mock, R.E.; Callison, S.A.; Hietala, S.K. Identification and Characterization of a Novel Alpaca Respiratory Coronavirus Most Closely Related to the Human Coronavirus 229E. Viruses 2012, 4, 3689-3700.

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