Sars-CoV-2 in the context of coronaviruses and animal models of COVID-19

Korenkova AA, Bahmetjev VV, Gorbunov KS
About authors

Federal Research and Clinical Center of Physical-Chemical Medicine of Federal Medical Biological Agency, Moscow, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed: Konstantin S. Gorbunov
Malaya Pirogovskaya, 1a, Moscow, 119435; gro.mcpcr@vonubrog.nitnatsnok

About paper

Author contribution: Korenkova AA — data collection, manuscript preparation; Bahmetjev VV — data collection, manuscript preparation; Gorbunov KS — supervision.

Received: 2020-10-14 Accepted: 2020-11-11 Published online: 2020-11-29

Some human coronaviruses that share genetic similarity are known to infect other mammals. A host can harbor several coronaviruses, which creates favorable conditions for recombination and eventually results in the emergence of new viral strains and species. This review looks at SARS-CoV-2 in the context of other coronaviruses and their evolution, with a special focus on possible host jumps and adaptation of the virus to its new hosts. To understand these phenomena, it is essential to know the ecological relationships between the host and other organisms. Candidate COVID-19 models are not limited to the organisms and laboratory animals previously used to study SARS and MERS. The diversity of SARS-CoV-2 hosts suggests there is a wide range of candidate animal models for studying COVID-19 that might be suitable for testing drugs and vaccines against this infection. Considering the diversity of coronaviruses, integrated medical, veterinarian and zoological studies might help to speed up the development of tools for combating coronaviral infections and prevent future epidemics.

Keywords: coronavirus, animal models, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, viral infections, transmission, epidemic, zoonotic diseases, reservoir