Deadly pig diarrhoea virus to spread to HUMANS – experts in shock warning

Monday, May 14, 2018
By Paul Martin

A RECENTLY identified pig virus could pose a potentially lethal threat to human populations, research suggests.

By Douglas Patient
15th May 2018

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.

This comes as Ebola has resurfaced in DR Congo, killing 19 so far.

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.

Young infected pigs experience acute diarrhoea and vomiting and may die.

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.

Locking onto the receptor, a multifunctional enzyme called aminopeptidase N allows the virus to gain access to its host.

In the laboratory the virus bound to the receptor not only in pigs, as expected, but also chickens, cats and humans.

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