COVID-19 from veterinary medicine and one health perspectives

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COVID-19 from veterinary medicine and one health perspectives: What animal coronaviruses have taught us

Decaro, N. et al. (2020) COVID-19 from veterinary medicine and one health perspectives: What animal coronaviruses have taught us. Research in Veterinary Science, 131, pp. 21-23.

Added 3 July 2020

This review article provides a brief overview of animal coronaviruses and the veterinary experience of dealing with them. The authors note that there is extensive knowledge in veterinary medicine about animal coronaviruses, their evolution and pathobiology. They provide brief details of the major veterinary coronaviruses, such as Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) of poultry and Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus (FIPV) which have been known since the early 1900s, and provide examples on how coronaviruses can evolve, changing their tissue tropism and virulence. The authors use as an example the

Transmissible Gastro-Enteritis Virus of pigs (TGEV), which likely originated from the closely related canine coronavirus (CCoV), and in turn gave rise to the less virulent Porcine Respiratory Coronavirus (PRCoV).

The authors note that while animal models may be useful in developing human SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, there may also be lessons to be learned from experience using veterinary vaccines such as those for IBV and CCoV. In these cases, parentally administered vaccines against respiratory coronaviruses have been found to reduce the severity of respiratory signs, but not give full protection against respiratory infection or virulent virus, noting that prevention of infection may be more dependent on mucosal immunity.

Also discussed is the issue of antibody-dependent enhancement, which was found to cause a more severe disease in cats immunised against Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus (FIPV) than in control cats.
A more positive lesson from the management of FIP relates to recent attempts to control FIP using two promising antiviral classes, namely protease inhibitors and nucleoside analogues, such as GS-441524, which is similar to the adenosine nucleoside monophosphate prodrug GS-5734; GS-5734 is the active molecule of Remdesivir.

The authors conclude that given the long-term experience gained with animal coronaviruses, veterinary medicine could help to forge a better understanding of the origin and spread of SARS-CoV-2 and guide future research in human medicine towards the development of immunogenic and safe vaccines and effective antiviral drug.

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