Origin and Evolution of Pathogenic Coronaviruses

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2019 Mar;17(3):181-192. doi: 10.1038/s41579-018-0118-9.

Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are two highly transmissible and pathogenic viruses that emerged in humans at the beginning of the 21st century. Both viruses likely originated in bats, and genetically diverse coronaviruses that are related to SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV were discovered in bats worldwide. In this Review, we summarize the current knowledge on the origin and evolution of these two pathogenic coronaviruses and discuss their receptor usage; we also highlight the diversity and potential of spillover of bat-borne coronaviruses, as evidenced by the recent spillover of swine acute diarrhoea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV) to pigs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alphacoronavirus / genetics
  • Alphacoronavirus / pathogenicity
  • Animals
  • Chiroptera / virology
  • Coronavirus / genetics*
  • Coronavirus / pathogenicity*
  • Coronavirus Infections
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Humans
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus / genetics
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus / pathogenicity
  • Phylogeny
  • SARS Virus / genetics
  • SARS Virus / pathogenicity
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
  • Swine / virology

Supplementary concepts

  • Swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus