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Humans could be at threat from lethal pig virus - new research.

A RECENTLY identified pig virus could pose a potentially lethal

Lab tests show that porcine deltacoronavirus, first detected in China in 2012, readily jumps between the cells of different species including humans.

The pathogen shows similarities to the deadly viruses responsible for Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and Mers (Middle East respiratory syndrome) which together have claimed more than 1,000 lives.

Professor Linda Saif, who took part in the US study at Ohio State University, said: "We're very concerned about emerging coronaviruses and worry about the harm they can do to animals and their potential to jump to humans."

When first identified in pigs in China, porcine deltacoronavirus was not associated with disease.

Then in 2014 it was found to be the cause of a diarrhoea outbreak among pigs in Ohio, US. Since then the virus has shown up in pigs in various countries.

The new research, reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows how the virus targets a specific receptor molecule on the surface of cells lining the airways and digestive tract.

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 15, 2018
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