Identification of Alpha and Beta Coronavirus in Wildlife Species in France: Bats, Rodents, Rabbits, and Hedgehogs.

Coronaviruses are closely monitored in the context of emerging diseases and, as illustrated with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV), are known to cross the species barrier and eventually to move from wildlife to humans. Knowledge of the diversity of coronaviruses in wildlife is therefore essential to better understand and prevent emergence events. This study explored the presence of coronaviruses in four wild mammal orders in France: Bats, rodents, lagomorphs, and hedgehogs. Betacoronavirus and Alphacoronavirus genera were identified. The results obtained suggest the circulation of potentially evolving virus strains, with the potential to cross the species barrier.

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