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International Journal of Morphology

versão On-line ISSN 0717-9502


CATROXO, M. H. B et al. Detection of Coronavirus in Capybaras (Hydrochoeris hydrochaeris) by Transmission Electron Microscopy in São Paulo, Brazil. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.2, pp.549-555. ISSN 0717-9502.

Coronaviruses are enveloped, positive-stranded RNA, belongs to the Nidovirales order, Coronaviridae family and are classified into three groups. Groups 3a and 3c comprising the avian coronaviruses. They are worldwide in distribution and can cause respiratory, enteric and in some cases hepatitis and neurological diseases in a wide variety of animals, resulting in economic losses to breeders and breeding. In this study, we describe an outbreak of diarrhea in a herd of capybaras found in the city of Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil. The animals had sudden symptoms of anorexia, profuse and watery diarrhea, yellowish or greenish, dehydration, weight loss, sharp and twisting of limbs leading to death in less than a week, mostly weaned and with an age of three months. A total of 59 stool samples and 10 fragments of small intestine were processed for negative staining technique (rapid preparation). By transmission electron microscope a large number of particles with morphology similar to coronavirus, pleomorphic, rounded or elongated features with radial projections form a corona and measuring 80-140 nm in diameter, was visualized in all samples analyzed. The technique was extremely useful for rapid viral diagnosis in the affected animals.

Palavras-chave : Coronavirus; Capybaras; Transmission electron microscopy.

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