Wensman JJ, Stokstad M
Pathogens 9 (12) - [2020-11-26; online 2020-11-26]
The current pandemic of COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of basic studies on coronaviruses (CoVs) in general, and severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in particular. CoVs have for long been studied in veterinary medicine, due to their impact on animal health and welfare, production, and economy. Several animal models using coronaviral disease in the natural host have been suggested. In this review, different animal models are discussed, with the main focus on bovine CoV (BCoV). BCoV is endemic in the cattle population worldwide and has been known and studied for several decades. SARS-CoV-2 and BCoV are both betacoronaviruses, where BCoV is highly similar to human coronavirus (HCoV) OC43, encompassing the same virus species ( Betacoronavirus 1). BCoV causes respiratory and gastrointestinal disease in young and adult cattle. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the similarities and dissimilarities between BCoV and SARS-CoV-2, as well as discussing the usage of BCoV as a model for human CoVs, including SARS-CoV-2.