Their finding was published in the journal Viruses.
“Between 2015 and 2017, we consistently found what we called ‘Grimso virus’ in 3.4% of these voles, suggesting the virus is widespread and common among bank voles in Sweden,” Ake said. Lundkvist, professor of virology and head of the Center.
The team mapped zoonotic viruses to increase understanding of the interaction between viruses and host animals.
Unlike the SARS-CoV and MERS coronaviruses that originated in bats, seasonal coronaviruses, such as HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1, appear to have spread to humans from rodents like rats, mice, and voles.
Using an RNA sequencing method, the team identified a new coronavirus known as aGrimso virus belonging to the betacoronavirus family which also includes SARS-CoV, MERS and SARS-CoV-2.
Rodents already carry several zoonotic microorganisms, such as hantaviruses and tularemia, which means they play a key role in the spread of infectious diseases.
In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in infectious diseases that can be linked to small mammals, such as rodents, and research around the ecology of these host animals is an essential part of work to prevent future outbreaks. .
The bank vole (Myodes glareolus) is one of the most widespread rodents in Europe.
Previous studies have found several coronaviruses circulating among animals in countries including the UK, Poland, France and Germany.
“We still do not know what potential threats the Grimso virus may pose to public health. However, based on our observations and previous coronaviruses identified among bank voles, there are good reasons to continue to monitor coronavirus among wild rodents,” Lundkvist said.