MUlti-Scale Eco-evolution of CoronaViruses: from surveillance toward emergence prediction


Coronaviruses can infect a huge variety of animal species, mammals and birds. They can evolve through different mechanisms of mutations and homologous recombinations. This genetic evolution of their genome allows them to acquire sometimes, new biological properties such as a change in virulence or the ability to infect a new host. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 is a paradigm of the ability of coronaviruses to transgress species barriers. This virus emerged from a bat reservoir and adapted to humans but can also infect some animal species in natural settings (minks, ferrets, cats, dogs, captive felidae and monkeys). MUSECoV is a research project dedicated to explore the genetic evolution of animal coronaviruses in different contexts. We aim to:

  • monitor the coronavirus circulation and genetic diversity in wildlife (bats, some bird species, and hedgehogs) and domestic animals (pets, poultry). We will also investigate the possible circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in animals, especially in pets. To full-fill these objectives, we will develop new coronaviruses detection tools based on biosensor technologies
  • explore and characterize the ecological drivers and coronavirus evolution through in-host genetics and whole genome / deep sequencing of animal coronaviruses in natural, farm or in vitro settings
  • decipher molecular events leading to cross-species transmission by exploring the ability of wildlife coronaviruses to use human proteins as viral receptors, and by studying aspects of intracellular host determinants

The MUSECoV program will deliver data concerning the dynamics of interactions between coronaviruses, and different animal hosts, providing novel insights concerning the mechanisms and pathways of coronavirus adaptations in various animal compartments.


Partner 1: UMR Virologie (S. Le Poder) and ANSES Ploufragan (P. Brown), ANSES Nancy LRFSN (E. Monchatre-Leroy, M. Wasniewski)

Partner 2: Université de Caen, Health department, GRAM, Normandie Université (M. Ar Gouilh)

Partner 3: Malopolska Centre of Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University (K. Pyrc) and National Veterinary Research Institute, Pulawy (M. Smrezack)

Partner 4: Catalan institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), Nanobiosensors and bioanalytical applications group (M. Soler, L. Lechuga)

Partner 5: Istituto Zooprofilattico, Sperimentalle della Puglia e della Basilicata (A. Parisi) and University of Bari (N. Decaro)


Chetboul V, Foulex P, Kartout K, Klein AM, Sailleau C, Dumarest M, Delaplace M, Ar Gouilh M, Mortier J, Le Poder S. Myocarditis and Subclinical-Like Infection Associated With SARS-CoV-2 in Two Cats Living in the Same Household in France: A Case Report with Literature Review. Front Vet Sci. 2021 Oct 21;8:748869. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2021.748869/full

Romito G, Bertaglia T, Bertaglia L, Decaro N, Uva A, Rugna G, Moreno A, Vincifori G, Dondi F, Diana A, Cipone M. Myocardial Injury Complicated by Systolic Dysfunction in a COVID-19-Positive Dog. Animals (Basel). 2021 Dec 8;11(12):3506. doi: 10.3390/ani11123506


Modification date : 22 September 2023 | Publication date : 29 August 2022 | Redactor : Sophie Lepoder