Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Discovery of a Novel Coronavirus in Swedish Bank Voles (Myodes glareolus)

Wasberg, Anishia; Raghwani, Jayna; Li, Jinlin; Pettersson, John H.-O.; Lindahl, Johanna; Lundkvist, Åke; Ling, Jiaxin


The unprecedented pandemic COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), with bats as original reservoirs, has once again highlighted the importance of exploring the interface of wildlife diseases and human health. In this study, we identified a novel Betacoronavirus from bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in Grimsö, Sweden, and this virus is designated as Grimso virus. Repeated detection over three years and an overall prevalence of 3.4% suggest that the virus commonly occurs in bank voles. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses indicate that the Grimso virus belongs to a highly divergent Embecovirus lineage predominantly associated with bank voles. Given that bank voles are one of the most common rodent species in Sweden and Europe, our findings indicate that Grimso virus might be circulating widely in bank voles and further point out the importance of sentinel surveillance of coronaviruses in wild small mammalian animals, especially in wild rodents.


coronavirus; bank voles; RNA-sequencing; prevalence

Published in

2022, volume: 14, article number: 1205

Authors' information

Wasberg, Anishia
Uppsala University
Raghwani, Jayna
University of Oxford
Li, Jinlin
Uppsala University
Pettersson, John H.-O.
University of Sydney
Uppsala University
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Lundkvist, Åke
Uppsala University
Ling, Jiaxin
Uppsala University

UKÄ Subject classification

Microbiology in the medical area

URI (permanent link to this page)