SARS-CoV-2 host diversity: An update of natural infections and experimental evidence.

June 25, 2020

Hossain M, et al.

Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection

ACE2 molecules are almost identical in pigs, ferrets, cats, orangutans, monkeys and humans. Genetic analysis suggests that the coronaviruses have their origin in bats and transmission of the virus to humans has likely occurred through an intermediate host, that might be a domestic, wild, or a domesticated wild animal. Although there is no confirmed animal to human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 but few reports had shown that some carnivores might be infected. A pet dog had been confirmed as weak positive to the COVID19 virus in China and showed no clinical symptoms. A cat in Belgium was infected with SARS-CoV-2, was syntomtic and its owner had COVID-19, laboratory tests from feces and vomit samples showed high levels of SARS-CoV-2 RNA as the cat showed respiratory symptoms. In a zoo in New York, a tiger showed signs of respiratory illness, probably got infected by a caretaker who was an asymptomatic carrier. Several minks in the Netherlands had been suffering from gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases, the caretakers of the farms were positive for COVID19 and it is believed that they were the sources of infection for minks. A study from Wuhan showed that 15 among 102 cats were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2. These results suggested that cats might be infected with SARS-CoV-2 and could be transmitted from humans to animals. Whether the domestic pets might be the reservoir of SARSCoV-2 should be carefully investigated, and infected owners should avoid close contact with their pets.

Hossain M. SARS-CoV-2 host diversity: An update of natural infections and experimental evidence. Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection, 2020.

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