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[Bats, viruses and humans: coronaviruses on the rise?].

Authors
  • Winter, Christine
  • Herrler, Georg
Type
Published Article
Journal
Berliner und Münchener tierärztliche Wochenschrift
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2013
Volume
126
Issue
11-12
Pages
509–513
Identifiers
PMID: 24511826
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The outbreak of the SARS coronavirus in 2002/2003 and the recent disease cases with a new human coronavirus (originally designated EMC-CoV, recently renamed MERS-CoV) have put the focus onto the virus family Coronaviridae. Both viruses appeared to have managed to jump over the species barrier from a bat reservoir to the human population. Bats are considered to serve as a natural reservoir for coronaviruses infecting mammals. An important factor for crossing the species-barrier is the adaptation to a new receptor on cells of the new host species. During evolution coronaviruses have developed a large diversity of binding specificities demonstrating the high flexibility of the coronaviral spike protein, which is responsible for binding to target cells.

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