Severe clinical diseases associated to αCoronavirus (αCoV) infections were recently demonstrated for the first time in humans and a closely related but distinct canine CoV (CCoV) variant was identified in the nasopharyngeal swabs of children with pneumonia hospitalized in Malaysia, in 2017-2018. The complete genome sequence analysis demonstrated that the isolated strain, CCoV-HuPn-2018, was a novel canine-feline-like recombinant virus with a unique nucleoprotein. The occurrence of three human epidemics/pandemic caused by CoVs in the recent years and the detection of CCoV-HuPn-2018, raises questions about the ability of these viruses to overcome species barriers from their reservoirs jumping to humans. Interestingly, in this perspective, it is interesting to consider the report concerning new CCoV strains with a potential dual recombinant origin through partial S-gene exchange with porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) identified in pups died with acute gastroenteritis in 2009. The significance of the ability of CCoVs to evolve is still unclear, but several questions arisen on the biology of these viruses, focusing important epidemiological outcomes in the field, in terms of both virus evolution and prophylaxis. The new CCoV-Hupn-2018 should lead researchers to pay more attention to the mechanisms of recombination among CoVs, rather than to the onset of variants as a result of mutations, suggesting a continuous monitoring of these viruses and in particular of SARS-CoV-2.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.