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This study has greatly expanded the understanding of the diversity of viruses carried by a variety of wild animals, and provided an important scientific basis for the early warning and prevention of human and livestock diseases.Figure 1: Vertebrate-associated viruses carried in wildlifeVertebrate-associated viruses carried in wildlife

The world’s top academic journal Cell published a research paper online: “Virome characterization of game animals in China reveals a spectrum of emerging pathogens”. This is a breakthrough research progress in the field of animal infectious disease prevention and control in China.

  According to statistics, more than 70% of the pathogens of human infectious diseases come from animals. Therefore, studying the virus carrying situation and diversity of wild animals that may be in close contact with humans or livestock is crucial to the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases in humans and livestock. 

The paper conducted a systematic viral transcriptome study on samples of 1941 mammals from 18 species in 20 provinces in China, and found that 102 viruses in 13 virus families can infect mammals, of which 65 viruses For the first time, it was found in mammals, such as: Coypu rotavirus , Pangolin pestivirus , Bamboo rat sapovirus , etc. 

  Porcupine Deltacoronavirus ( Deltacoronavirus HKU17 ), Bovine parainfluenza virus 3 ( Bovine parainfluenza virus 3 ), Mammalian orthorubulavirus 5 , H9N2 subtype influenza virus ( Influenza A virus H9N2 ) and other 21 viruses with potentially high transmission risk to humans and livestock. It was found that raccoon dogs, civet cats, bamboo rats, porcupines, hedgehogs and other wild animals can carry coronaviruses. Among them, the four new canine coronaviruses ( CCoV ) carried in the diarrhea raccoon dog samples and the latest reports that can cause human diseases The gene homology of the recombinant CCoV strain CCoV-HuPn-2018 reached 93.65%-94.27%; based on the analysis of the non-recombinant region in the virus spike protein ( S ), it was found that the four new raccoon dog CCoVs formed a single pedigree. 

Therefore, the risk of cross-species transmission of this coronavirus deserves attention. This study also found a variety of high abundance rotavirus ( Rotavirus ), including A, B, C, D and I groups. Animals such as rabbits, raccoon dogs, porcupines and nutria all carry rotavirus group A. At the same time, co-infection of rotavirus groups A, C and I with high abundance was found in raccoon dogs with diarrhea, suggesting that rotavirus has cross-species transmission and public health risks.Figure 2: Genome recombination and evolution analysis of raccoon dog CCoVGenome recombination and evolution analysis of raccoon dog CCoV

  Although these wild animals are not necessarily reservoir hosts for these high-risk viruses, they may act as intermediate hosts for cross-species transmission of pathogens to humans and livestock. The findings also show that some seemingly healthy animals can also carry viruses closely related to human disease and continue to spread between different species. This again highlights the risks of trade, consumption, and close contact with game animals, and the importance of wildlife as a potential driver of disease emergence. At the same time, the research results can provide new ideas for the formulation of major epidemic prevention and control policies, such as moving forward the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases.

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