Comparative Pathogenesis of Bovine and Porcine Respiratory Coronaviruses in the Animal Host Species and SARS-CoV-2 in Humans

Linda J Saif, Kwonil Jung
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2020 July 23, 58 (8)
Discovery of bats with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related coronaviruses (CoVs) raised the specter of potential future outbreaks of zoonotic SARS-CoV-like disease in humans, which largely went unheeded. Nevertheless, the novel SARS-CoV-2 of bat ancestral origin emerged to infect humans in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and then became a global pandemic. Less than 5 months after its emergence, millions of people worldwide have been infected asymptomatically or symptomatically and at least 360,000 have died. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in severely affected patients includes atypical pneumonia characterized by a dry cough, persistent fever, and progressive dyspnea and hypoxia, sometimes accompanied by diarrhea and often followed by multiple organ failure, especially of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. In this minireview, we focus on two endemic respiratory CoV infections of livestock: bovine coronavirus (BCoV) and porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV). Both animal respiratory CoVs share some common features with SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. BCoV has a broad host range including wild ruminants and a zoonotic potential. BCoV also has a dual tropism for the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. These aspects, their interspecies transmission, and certain factors that impact disease severity in cattle parallel related facets of SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2 in humans. PRCV has a tissue tropism for the upper and lower respiratory tracts and a cellular tropism for type 1 and 2 pneumocytes in lung but is generally a mild infection unless complicated by other exacerbating factors, such as bacterial or viral coinfections and immunosuppression (corticosteroids).

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