Bovine coronavirus

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Bovine coronavirus
Virus classification e
(unranked): Virus
Realm: Riboviria
Phylum: incertae sedis
Order: Nidovirales
Family: Coronaviridae
Genus: Betacoronavirus
Species: Betacoronavirus 1
Bovine coronavirus

Bovine coronavirus (BCV[2] or BCoV[3]) is a coronavirus which is a member of the species Betacoronavirus 1.[4][5] The infecting virus is an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus which enters its host cell by binding to the N-acetyl-9-O-acetylneuraminic acid recepter.[6][7] Infection causes calf enteritis and contributes to the enzootic pneumonia complex in calves. It can also cause winter dysentery in adult cattle. It can infect both domestic and wild ruminants and has a worldwide distribution. Transmission is horizontal, via oro-fecal or respiratory routes.[citation needed] It has, like other coronaviruses from genus Betacoronavirus, subgenus Embecovirus, an additional shorter spike-like surface protein called hemagglutinin esterase (HE).[8][4]

Clinical signs and diagnosis[edit]

Infection normally occurs in calves between the ages of one week and three months. Gastrointestinal signs include profuse diarrhea, dehydration, depression, reduced weight gain and anorexia. Respiratory infection in the calf produces a serous to purulent nasal discharge. Clinical signs may worsen with secondary bacteria infection.

Infection in adults is normally subclinical, the exception being with winter dysentery, which affects housed cattle over the winter months. Clinical signs include profuse diarrhea and a significant drop in milk yield is seen in winter dysentery outbreaks.

A presumptive diagnosis can be made based on the history and clinical signs. Definitive diagnosis of an enteric coronavirus infection is achieved by performing electron microscopy or an ELISA on a faecal or tissue sample. In respiratory disease, diagnosis is confirmed by performing a direct fluorescent antibody test on nasal washes – which identifies the viral antigen.

The haemagglutination inhibition test can be used to establish the strain of coronavirus.

Treatment and control[edit]

Animals should be treated symptomatically. The disease can be controlled by vaccinating the dam with a live vaccine (ATCvet code QI02) whilst she is pregnant as this provides antibodies to the virus in the colostrum. Additional management factors such as ensuring adequate colostrum intake in newborn calves, using appropriate hygiene methods and ventilation of housing reduce disease incidence.


  1. ^ de Groot, R.J; et al. (2009). "ICTV 9th Report (2011) New Coronaviridae". International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). Archived from the original on 23 January 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  2. ^ Robert W. Fulton, Douglas L. Step, Jackie Wahrmund, Lurinda J. Burge, Mark E. Payton, Billy J. Cook, Dirk Burken, Chris J. Richards, Anthony W. Confer (July 2011). "Bovine coronavirus (BCV) infections in transported commingled beef cattle and sole-source ranch calves". Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research. 75 (3): 191–199. PMC 3122965. PMID 22210995. Can J Vet Res. 2011 Jul; 75(3): 191–199.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ Adeline de Mira Fernandes, Paulo E. Brandão, Michele dos Santos Lima, Maira de Souza Nunes Martins, Thais G. da Silva, Vivian da Silva Cardoso Pinto, Larissa T. de Paula, Marta Elisabete S. Vicente, Liria H. Okuda, Edviges M. Pituco (24 April 2018). "Genetic diversity of BCoV in Brazilian cattle herds". Veterinary Medicine and Science (published August 2018). 4 (3): 183–189. doi:10.1002/vms3.102. PMC 6090412. PMID 29687958. Vet Med Sci. 2018 Aug; 4(3): 183–189.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b "Taxonomy browser (Betacoronavirus 1)". Retrieved 2020-02-29.
  5. ^ Woo, Patrick C. Y.; Huang, Yi; Lau, Susanna K. P.; Yuen, Kwok-Yung (2010-08-24). "Coronavirus Genomics and Bioinformatics Analysis". Viruses. 2 (8): 1804–1820. doi:10.3390/v2081803. ISSN 1999-4915. PMC 3185738. PMID 21994708. Figure 2. Phylogenetic analysis of RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (Pol) of coronaviruses with complete genome sequences available. The tree was constructed by the neighbor-joining method and rooted using Breda virus polyprotein.
  6. ^ Li, Fang (2016-09-29). "Structure, Function, and Evolution of Coronavirus Spike Proteins". Annual Review of Virology. 3 (1): 237–261. doi:10.1146/annurev-virology-110615-042301. ISSN 2327-056X. PMC 5457962. PMID 27578435. BCoV S1-NTD does not recognize galactose as galectins do. Instead, it recognizes 5-N-acetyl-9-O-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5,9Ac2) (30, 43). The same sugar receptor is also recognized by human coronavirus OC43 (43, 99). OC43 and BCoV are closely related genetically, and OC43 might have resulted from zoonotic spillover of BCoV (100, 101).
  7. ^ Fehr AR, Perlman S (2015). Maier HJ, Bickerton E, Britton P (eds.). "Coronaviruses: an overview of their replication and pathogenesis". Methods in Molecular Biology. Springer. 1282: 1–23. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-2438-7_1. ISBN 978-1-4939-2438-7. PMC 4369385. PMID 25720466. See Table 1.
  8. ^ Woo, Patrick C. Y.; Huang, Yi; Lau, Susanna K. P.; Yuen, Kwok-Yung (2010-08-24). "Coronavirus Genomics and Bioinformatics Analysis". Viruses. 2 (8): 1804–1820. doi:10.3390/v2081803. ISSN 1999-4915. PMC 3185738. PMID 21994708. In all members of Betacoronavirus subgroup A, a haemagglutinin esterase (HE) gene, which encodes a glycoprotein with neuraminate O-acetyl-esterase activity and the active site FGDS, is present downstream to ORF1ab and upstream to S gene (Figure 1).

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