New study has found diversity of animal viruses

Wildlife is a significant source of emerging infectious diseases, and ongoing outbreaks of new and re-emerging infectious diseases raise concerns that wild animals carry the virus, especially those in close contact with humans and domestic animals, which are more likely to cause virus transmission. Recently, researchers have made new achievements in the research of animal virus diversity, cross-host transmission and potential zoonotic viruses. The study was published in Nature Communications.

Schematic diagram of the spread of multiple viruses between wildlife-domesticated-domesticated wildlife-humans. Photo courtesy of the research team

The team of Professor Shen Yongyi of the College of Veterinary Medicine of South China Agricultural University, together with the Military Veterinary Research Institute of the Military Medical Research Institute, the Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the University of Hong Kong, Longyan College, the Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Guangzhou Zoo characterized a variety of wild animals and domesticated animals carrying viruses, revealed the diversity of viruses they carried, identified a variety of new virus species and genera, and revealed some viruses with potential cross-species transmission ability.

The study found that bats carry not only multiple coronaviruses, but also highly diverse microbicycles and astroviruses, as well as a new genus of Bernavis. The study also found cross-species transmission between wild animals and domestic animals in two RNA viruses (paramyxovirus and astrovirus) and four DNA viruses (pseudorabies virus, porcine circovirus2, porcine circovirus 3 and parvovirus), which further complicates the situation of disease prevention and control in domestic animals. On the other hand, it also poses severe challenges to the protection of wildlife. In particular, porcine pseudorabies virus and circovirus infection were found to infect South China tigers and have serious pathogenicity to them.

The research results have been adopted by the South China tiger domestication base and many zoos, and compiled into the breeding and disease prevention and control guidelines.

The co-first authors of the paper are Cui Xinyuan, Liang Xianghui, Fan Kewei, Gong Wenjie, Chen Wu, He Biao, and the co-corresponding authors are Shen Yongyi, Tu Changchun, Ding Sho and Guan Yi. The sampling work was strongly supported by the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau scientific expedition team and the Chongqing cave exploration team. (Source: China Science News Zhu Hanbin)

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