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Serological evidence of coronavirus infection in mithuns (Bos frontalis) from India

Author(s) : S. Rajkhowa, C. Rajkhowa & G.C. Hazarika

Summary :

Studies conducted on mithuns at the National Research Centre on Mithun, and mithuns found in free-ranging conditions in Nagaland, India, revealed that the overall prevalence of antibodies to coronavirus was 80% (95% confidence interval [CI] 77-83) when detected by a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The highest seroprevalence (92%; 95% CI 89-95) was found in mithuns above three years of age, and the lowest (53%; 95% CI 36-70) in mithuns of 7 to 12 months old (P = 0.00005). The study also revealed a higher degree of positivity (++++) in mithuns above three years old than in those below one year. No statistically significant difference in seroprevalence was observed between male (80%; 95% CI 75-85) and female mithuns (80%; 95% CI 76-84). The seroprevalence was found to be higher (92%; 95% CI 89-95) in mithuns reared in semi-intensive systems compared with those kept under free-ranging conditions (56%; 95% CI 49-63; P = 0.003). This is probably the first serological evidence of coronavirus infection in mithuns. The possible role of adults in the epidemiology of coronavirus infection in mithuns is also discussed.

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