Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel coronavirus in humans, has expanded globally over the past year. COVID-19 remains an important subject of intensive research owing to its huge impact on economic and public health globally. Based on historical archives, the first coronavirus-related disease recorded was possibly animal-related, a case of feline infectious peritonitis described as early as 1912. Despite over a century of documented coronaviruses in animals, the global animal industry still suffers from outbreaks. Knowledge and experience handling animal coronaviruses provide a valuable tool to complement our understanding of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In this review, we present an overview of coronaviruses, clinical signs, COVID-19 in animals, genome organization and recombination, immunopathogenesis, transmission, viral shedding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. By drawing parallels between COVID-19 in animals and humans, we provide perspectives on the pathophysiological mechanisms by which coronaviruses cause diseases in both animals and humans, providing a critical basis for the development of effective vaccines and therapeutics against these deadly viruses.
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