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Open AccessCommunication

Discovery of Novel Alphacoronaviruses in European Rodents and Shrews

1
School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK
2
Twycross Zoo, Burton Road, Atherstone, Warwickshire CV9 3PX, UK
3
School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough LE12 5RD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Andrew Mehle
Viruses 2016, 8(3), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8030084
Received: 4 December 2015 / Revised: 29 February 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 18 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Eight hundred and thirteen European rodents and shrews encompassing seven different species were screened for alphacoronaviruses using PCR detection. Novel alphacoronaviruses were detected in the species Rattus norvegicus, Microtus agrestis, Sorex araneus and Myodes glareolus. These, together with the recently described Lucheng virus found in China, form a distinct rodent/shrew-specific clade within the coronavirus phylogeny. Across a highly conserved region of the viral polymerase gene, the new members of this clade were up to 22% dissimilar at the nucleotide level to the previously described Lucheng virus. As such they might represent distinct species of alphacoronaviruses. These data greatly extend our knowledge of wildlife reservoirs of alphacoronaviruses. View Full-Text
Keywords: coronaviruses; rodents; shrews; alphacoronavirus coronaviruses; rodents; shrews; alphacoronavirus
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Tsoleridis, T.; Onianwa, O.; Horncastle, E.; Dayman, E.; Zhu, M.; Danjittrong, T.; Wachtl, M.; Behnke, J.M.; Chapman, S.; Strong, V.; Dobbs, P.; Ball, J.K.; Tarlinton, R.E.; McClure, C.P. Discovery of Novel Alphacoronaviruses in European Rodents and Shrews. Viruses 2016, 8, 84.

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