Bovine coronavirus (BoCV) is an important pathogen of cattle, causing severe enteric disease and playing a role in the bovine respiratory disease complex. Similar to other coronaviruses, a remarkable variability characterizes both its genome and biology. Despite their potential relevance, different aspects of the evolution of BoCV remain elusive. The present study reconstructs the history and evolution of BoCV using a phylodynamic approach based on complete genome and spike protein sequences. The results demonstrate high mutation and recombination rates affecting different parts of the viral genome. In the spike gene, this variability undergoes significant selective pressures-particularly episodic pressure-located mainly on the protein surface, suggesting an immune-induced selective pressure. The occurrence of compensatory mutations was also identified. On the contrary, no strong evidence in favor of host and/or tissue tropism affecting viral evolution has been proven. The well-known plasticity is thus ascribable to the innate broad viral tropism rather than mid- or long-term adaptation. The evaluation of the geographic spreading pattern clearly evidenced two clusters: a European cluster and an American-Asian cluster. While a relatively dense and quick migration network was identified in the former, the latter was dominated by the primary role of the United States (US) as a viral exportation source. Since the viral spreading pattern strongly mirrored the cattle trade, the need for more intense monitoring and preventive measures cannot be underestimated as well as the need to enforce the vaccination of young animals before international trade, to reduce not only the clinical impact but also the transferal and mixing of BoCV strains.

Bovine Coronavirus: Variability, Evolution, and Dispersal Patterns of a No Longer Neglected Betacoronavirus

Franzo G.
;
Drigo M.;Legnardi M.;Grassi L.;Pasotto D.;Menandro M. L.;Cecchinato M.;Tucciarone C. M.
2020

Abstract

Bovine coronavirus (BoCV) is an important pathogen of cattle, causing severe enteric disease and playing a role in the bovine respiratory disease complex. Similar to other coronaviruses, a remarkable variability characterizes both its genome and biology. Despite their potential relevance, different aspects of the evolution of BoCV remain elusive. The present study reconstructs the history and evolution of BoCV using a phylodynamic approach based on complete genome and spike protein sequences. The results demonstrate high mutation and recombination rates affecting different parts of the viral genome. In the spike gene, this variability undergoes significant selective pressures-particularly episodic pressure-located mainly on the protein surface, suggesting an immune-induced selective pressure. The occurrence of compensatory mutations was also identified. On the contrary, no strong evidence in favor of host and/or tissue tropism affecting viral evolution has been proven. The well-known plasticity is thus ascribable to the innate broad viral tropism rather than mid- or long-term adaptation. The evaluation of the geographic spreading pattern clearly evidenced two clusters: a European cluster and an American-Asian cluster. While a relatively dense and quick migration network was identified in the former, the latter was dominated by the primary role of the United States (US) as a viral exportation source. Since the viral spreading pattern strongly mirrored the cattle trade, the need for more intense monitoring and preventive measures cannot be underestimated as well as the need to enforce the vaccination of young animals before international trade, to reduce not only the clinical impact but also the transferal and mixing of BoCV strains.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3358816
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