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Discovery of novel alphacoronaviruses in European rodents and shrews

Tsoleridis, Theocharis; Onianwa, Okechukwu; Horncastle, Emma; Dayman, Emma; Zhu, Miaoran; Danjittrong, Taechasit; Wachtl, Marta; Behnke, Jerzy M.; Chapman, Sarah; Strong, Victoria; Dodds, Phillipa; Tarlinton, Rachael E.; Ball, Jonathan K.; McClure, Patrick


Theocharis Tsoleridis

Okechukwu Onianwa

Emma Horncastle

Emma Dayman

Miaoran Zhu

Taechasit Danjittrong

Marta Wachtl

Jerzy M. Behnke

Sarah Chapman (

Victoria Strong (

Phillipa Dodds (

Rachael E. Tarlinton

Jonathan K. Ball

Patrick McClure


Eight hundred and thirteen European rodents and shrews encompassing seven different species were screened for alphacoronaviruses using PCR detection. Novel alphacoronaviruses were detected in the species Rattus norvegicus, Microtus agrestis, Sorex araneus and Myodes glareolus. These, together with the recently described Lucheng virus found in China, form a distinct rodent/shrew-specific clade within the coronavirus phylogeny. Across a highly conserved region of the viral polymerase gene, the new members of this clade were up to 22% dissimilar at the nucleotide level to the previously described Lucheng virus. As such they might represent distinct species of alphacoronaviruses. These data greatly extend our knowledge of wildlife reservoirs of alphacoronaviruses.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 18, 2016
Journal Viruses
Electronic ISSN 1999-4915
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 3
Article Number 84
APA6 Citation Tsoleridis, T., Onianwa, O., Horncastle, E., Dayman, E., Zhu, M., Danjittrong, T., …McClure, P. (2016). Discovery of novel alphacoronaviruses in European rodents and shrews. Viruses, 8(3), doi:10.3390/v8030084
Keywords coronaviruses, rodents, shrews, alphacoronavirus
Publisher URL
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