Sumary of Scientists explore susceptibility of different animals to SARS-CoV-2 infection:
- Numerous reports indicate severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spillovers have occurred from humans to animals since the COVID-19 pandemic began, as evidenced by the transmission of the virus between keepers and tigers and lions at the New York Bronx Zoo.
- To date, however, it is unclear what species of animals are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. This type of information can usually be gathered by infecting various animal species with a virus to determine if they are susceptible.
- However, in order to reduce animal testing and refine animal experiments, researchers set out to answer this question in a more elegant and animal-friendly way.
- A team of researchers at the Institute of Infectious Diseases (IFIK) at the University of Bern and the Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI) has utilized a unique collection of advanced cell culture models of cells lining the airways from various domesticated and wildlife animals.
- This way, the team can determine which animals are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- In the study, published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, the team revealed that SARS-CoV-2 efficiently infected the respiratory cells from cats and monkeys, suggesting that infection surveillance is important for these animals.
- SARS-CoV-2 in animals Over the past two decades, scientists have observed zoonotic outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in China in 2003 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The outbreaks have been followed by the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused over 191 million cases worldwide.
- Studies in the past have shown that these spillover events can happen from humans to animals.