Susceptibility to SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 from animal health perspective.Open Vet J. 2020 08; 10(2):164-177.OV
Viruses are having great time as they seem to have bogged humans down. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are the three major coronaviruses of present-day global human and animal health concern. COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 is identified as the newest disease, presumably of bat origin. Different theories on the evolution of viruses are in circulation, yet there is no denying the fact that the animal source is the skeleton. The whole world is witnessing the terror of the COVID-19 pandemic that is following the same path of SARS and MERS, and seems to be more severe. In addition to humans, several species of animals are reported to have been infected with these life-threatening viruses. The possible routes of transmission and their zoonotic potentialities are the subjects of intense research. This review article aims to overview the link of all these three deadly coronaviruses among animals along with their phylogenic evolution and cross-species transmission. This is essential since animals as pets or food are said to pose some risk, and their better understanding is a must in order to prepare a possible plan for future havoc in both human and animal health. Although COVID-19 is causing a human health hazard globally, its reporting in animals are limited compared to SARS and MERS. Non-human primates and carnivores are most susceptible to SARS-coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2, respectively, whereas the dromedary camel is susceptible to MERS-coronavirus. Phylogenetically, the trio viruses are reported to have originated from bats and have special capacity to undergo mutation and genomic recombination in order to infect humans through its reservoir or replication host. However, it is difficult to analyze how the genomic pattern of coronaviruses occurs. Thus, increased possibility of new virus-variants infecting humans and animals in the upcoming days seems to be the biggest challenge for the future of the world. One health approach is portrayed as our best way ahead, and understanding the animal dimension will go a long way in formulating such preparedness plans.