Wasberg A, Raghwani J, Li J, Pettersson JH, Lindahl JF, Lundkvist Å, Ling J
Viruses 14 (6) - [2022-06-01; online 2022-06-01]
The unprecedented pandemic COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), with bats as original reservoirs, has once again highlighted the importance of exploring the interface of wildlife diseases and human health. In this study, we identified a novel Betacoronavirus from bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in Grimsö, Sweden, and this virus is designated as Grimso virus. Repeated detection over three years and an overall prevalence of 3.4% suggest that the virus commonly occurs in bank voles. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses indicate that the Grimso virus belongs to a highly divergent Embecovirus lineage predominantly associated with bank voles. Given that bank voles are one of the most common rodent species in Sweden and Europe, our findings indicate that Grimso virus might be circulating widely in bank voles and further point out the importance of sentinel surveillance of coronaviruses in wild small mammalian animals, especially in wild rodents.
Research Area: Pandemic preparedness