Alekseev, K. P., Vlasova, A. N., Jung, K., Hasoksuz, M., Zhang, X., Halpin, R., Wang, S., Ghedin, E., Spiro, D., Saif, L. J.
Bovine-Like Coronaviruses Isolated From Four Species Of Captive Wild Ruminants Are Homologous To Bovine Coronaviruses Based On Complete Genomic Sequences
J Virol. 2008 Oct 08; 82(24): 12422-31.
We sequenced and analyzed the full-length genomes of four coronaviruses (CoVs) each from a distinct wild ruminant species in Ohio: sambar deer (Cervus unicolor), a waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus), a sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) and a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). The fecal samples from sambar deer, waterbuck and white-tailed deer were collected during winter dysentery outbreaks and sporadic diarrhea cases in 1993-1994 (Tsunemitsu, H., Z. R. el-Kanawati, D. R. Smith, H. H. Reed, and L. J. Saif. 1995. J. Clin. Microbiol. 33:3264-9). A fecal sample from a sable antelope was collected in 2003 from an Ohio wild animal habitat, during the same outbreak when a bovine-like CoV from a giraffe (GiCoV) was isolated (Hasoksuz, M., K. Alekseev, A. Vlasova, X. Zhang, D. Spiro, R. Halpin, S. Wang, E. Ghedin, and L. J. Saif. 2007. J. Virol. 81:4981-4990). For two of the CoVs (sambar deer and waterbuck), complete genomes from both the cell culture-adapted and gnotobiotic calf-passaged strains were also sequenced and analyzed. Phylogenetically, wild ruminant CoVs belong to group 2a CoVs with the closest relatedness to the recent BCoV strains. High nucleotide identities (99.4-99.6%) among the wild ruminant strains and the recent BCoV strains (BCoV-LUN and BCoV-ENT, 1998) further comfirm the close relatedness. Comparative genetic analysis of captive wild ruminant CoVs with BCoV strains suggests that no specific genomic markers are present that allow discrimination between the bovine strains and bovine-like CoVs from captive wild ruminants; furthermore, no specific genetic markers were identified that defined cell culture or calf-passaged strains, or host origin of strains. This study confirms prior biologic and antigenic similarities reported between bovine and wild ruminant CoVs and suggests that cattle may be reservoirs for CoVs that infect captive wild ruminants or vice versa and that these CoVs may represent host range variants of an ancestral CoV.