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Emergence of pathogenic coronaviruses in cats by homologous recombination between feline and canine coronaviruses

Emergence of pathogenic coronaviruses in cats by homologous recombination between feline and canine coronaviruses

Plos one 9(9): E106534

Type II feline coronavirus (FCoV) emerged via double recombination between type I FCoV and type II canine coronavirus (CCoV). In this study, two type I FCoVs, three type II FCoVs and ten type II CCoVs were genetically compared. The results showed that three Japanese type II FCoVs, M91-267, KUK-H/L and Tokyo/cat/130627, also emerged by homologous recombination between type I FCoV and type II CCoV and their parent viruses were genetically different from one another. In addition, the 3'-terminal recombination sites of M91-267, KUK-H/L and Tokyo/cat/130627 were different from one another within the genes encoding membrane and spike proteins, and the 5'-terminal recombination sites were also located at different regions of ORF1. These results indicate that at least three Japanese type II FCoVs emerged independently. Sera from a cat experimentally infected with type I FCoV was unable to neutralize type II CCoV infection, indicating that cats persistently infected with type I FCoV may be superinfected with type II CCoV. Our previous study reported that few Japanese cats have antibody against type II FCoV. All of these observations suggest that type II FCoV emerged inside the cat body and is unable to readily spread among cats, indicating that these recombination events for emergence of pathogenic coronaviruses occur frequently.

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Accession: 052941885

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PMID: 25180686

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106534

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