Molecular epidemiology of bovine coronavirus on the basis of comparative analyses of the S gene

Lihong Liu, Sara Hägglund, Mikhayil Hakhverdyan, Stefan Alenius, Lars Erik Larsen, Sándor Belak

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Bovine coronavirus (BCoV), a group 2 member of the genus Coronavirus in the family Coronaviridae, is an important pathogen in cattle worldwide. It causes diarrhea in adult animals (winter dysentery), as well as enteric and respiratory diseases in calves. The annual occurrence of BCoV epidemics in Sweden and Denmark led to this investigation, with the aim to deepen the knowledge of BCoV epidemiology at the molecular level. A total of 43 samples from outbreaks in both countries were used for PCR amplification and direct sequencing of a 624-nucleotide fragment of the BCoV S gene. Sequence comparison and phylogenetic studies were performed. The results showed (i) identical sequences from different animals in the same herds and from paired nasal and fecal samples, suggesting a dominant virus circulating in each herd at a given time; (ii) sequence differences among four outbreaks in different years in the same herd, indicating new introduction of virus; (iii) identical sequences in four different Danish herds in samples obtained within 2 months, implying virus transmission between herds; and (iv) that at least two different virus strains were involved in the outbreaks of BCoV in Denmark during the spring of 2003. This study presents molecular data of BCoV infections that will contribute to an increased understanding of BCoV epidemiology in cattle populations.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)957-960
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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