A new coronavirus has been found in rodents in Sweden

Bats and pangolins are not the only wild animals that contain new coronaviruses. Rodents, such as mice, rats, and mice, carry viruses that are sometimes able to pass on to our species.

Among the red cans of Sweden (Myodes glareolus), researchers have identified a common and widespread coronavirus, now known as the Grimso virus, after its discovery.

We do not know whether the newly discovered virus is dangerous to humans in any way; However, the findings are a good reminder of why we need to monitor wildlife viruses, especially those that live near us.

“We still don’t know how the Grimso virus could pose a threat to public health. However, based on our observations and previous coronaviruses identified among bank mice, there is every reason to continue coronavirus control in wild rodents,” said virologist Ake Lundqvist. From Uppsala University in Sweden.

Bank mice are one of the most common rodents in Europe. Their pathways often intersect with our species, and they are the known hosts of the Puumala virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever in humans called epidemic nephropathy.

It is known that when seeking shelter from adverse weather conditions, mice take refuge in human buildings, which increases the risk of transmission of the disease to our households.

Even before the outbreak of the Coved-19 pandemic, Lundqvist and his colleagues had been trying to control the disease in mice to predict when it might spread. Given the ever-increasing rate of climate change and habitat degradation, our relationship with mice will continue to grow.

Between 2015 and 2017, Uppsala researchers studied 450 wild mice in Grimso, west of Stockholm. After testing the organisms for the coronavirus, the team found a new beta-coronavirus in 3.4 percent of the samples.

Beta-coronaviruses are commonly found in bats and rodents and are responsible for the production of common influenza and respiratory viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, when they jump on humans.

The new mouse virus has not yet jumped on humans, but if COVID-19 has taught us something, we need to tighten controls on wildlife disease.

Within three years, Swedish researchers found several different strains of the Grimso virus that circulated among the bank mouse population.

In addition, other nearby coronaviruses are common among mice in other parts of Europe, such as France, Germany, and Poland, indicating that these organisms are a natural reservoir of disease.

The highly divergent nature of the Grimso virus is a bad sign. This shows that the virus is easily adapted to new owners and habitats.

Various strains found in circulation may initially originate from coastal mice, or they may jump from other species.

“Given that bank mice are one of the most common rodent species in Sweden and Europe, our findings suggest that the Grimso virus may be prevalent in bank mice and further underscore the importance of surveillance of coronaviruses in wild small mammals, especially animals.” – The authors write.

Other studies have recently warned that human exploitation of wildlife has directly increased the risk of animal diseases spreading to humans. This threat is particularly evident among animals such as bats, rodents and primates, which have large populations and are easily adapted to the human environment.

Although rodents and bats have long been considered carriers of human diseases, they are not the only ones who need to pay attention to animal infectious diseases specialists.

Large mammals, such as wild deer, are also closely related to human civilization, and about 40 percent of deer in the northeastern United States have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

Animals such as mink have also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and researchers fear that the virus could mutate among the owners of these animals and re-infect us with another version of the disease.

Fear has eventually led to the extinction of millions of mink as a precautionary measure. However, the destruction of entire animal populations is not an acceptable solution, especially in the wild. Creating more ecological disturbances only serves to further unbalance ecosystems, put more emphasis on animals, and create more opportunities for viruses. Therefore, improved control is important.

In the future, if bad weather and habitat degradation increase, we may be able to transmit new coronaviruses to our households.

The study was published virus.


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