March 25, 2021 – New coronavirus Variants are not the only problem for humans.

New research suggests that they can also infect animals, and for the first time, variants have been able to infect mice, a development that could complicate efforts to rein in the global spread of the virus.

In addition, two new studies have implications for pets. Veterinarians in Texas And this United Kingdom Have documented the infection of B.1.1.7 – the fastest spreading variant found in the UK for the first time – in dogs and cats. Animals in the UK study also had heart damage, but it is unclear whether the damage was caused by or already caused by the virus and was found to be a result of their infection.

Animal studies of coronovirus and its emerging variants are necessary, says Sarah Hammer, DVM, a veterinarian and epidemiologist at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and College Station of Biomedical Sciences.

He is part of a network of scientists swallowing people’s pets who know COVID-19 is how often the virus passes from people to animals.

The collaboration is part of the CDC’s Forest Health Initiative. One health objective is to combat infectious diseases, recognizing that people cannot be completely protected from pathogens until animals and the environment are also protected.

“More than 70% of humans’ emerging diseases have their origins in animal populations,” Hammer said. “So if we are only focused on studying the disease as it emerges in humans and ignores that those pathogens have been transmitted or transmitted for years, then we miss the ability to detect early emergence Can. We can miss the ability to control these diseases. Be problems for human health. “

Variants move

In the new work, researchers at the Institute Pasteur in Paris have shown that the B.1.351 and P.1 variants of anxiety, previously identified in South Africa and Brazil, can infect mice, respectively, making the virus a potential new The host can be found.

Older versions of the virus could not infect mice because they were not able to bind receptors on their cells. These can be two types.

On one hand, this is a good thing, as it will help scientists conduct experiments more easily in mice. Previously, if they wanted to do an experiment with coronaviruses in mice, they had to use a special strain of the mouse, which was bred to carry human ACE2 receptors on their lung cells. Now mice can be naturally infected, any breed will do, so studying viruses in animals is less expensive and time consuming.

On the other hand, the idea that there may be more and different ways for the virus to spread is not good news.

“From the onset of the epidemic and since human coronavirus emerged from animals, it has become very important to establish which species the virus can replicate, especially species that live close to humans,” Javier Montegutelli, DVM, K The chief said. Mouse Genetics Laboratory at the Institute Pasteur. His study was published As an impression Next to peer review on BioRXIV.

Once a virus is established within an animal population, it spreads and changes and can eventually be repatriated to humans. This is why birds and pigs are closely monitored Influenza Virus.

So far, with this coronavirus, only one animal has been found to catch and spread the virus and send it back to the people – farming mink. Researchers Have also documented Coronovirus antibodies to the mink that survived near farms in Utah, suggesting that the virus has the potential to transmit wild wildlife.

And the virus moving into mice suggests that the virus may establish itself in a population of wild animals that live close to humans.

“At this point, we have no evidence that wild rats are infected, or may be infected with humans,” Montagutelli said. He said his findings emphasized the need to regularly test animals for signs of infection. He said that these surveys would need to be updated as more versions would come out.

“So far, we have been fortunate that our livestock species are not really susceptible to it,” said Scott Vesse, DVM, a professor at the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph in Canada, who studies emerging infectious diseases : Animals and people.

While the outbreak on mink farms has been bad, imagine what would happen if the virus moved to pigs.

“If it infects a barn with a few thousand pigs – which is like the mink landscape – but we have a lot more pig farms than mink farms,” โ€‹โ€‹he said.

“With these variants, we have to reset,” he said. “We’ve figured out all this about animals and how it spreads or how it happens, but now we need to repeat all those studies to make sure.”

Catch pets

Wes said that people who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 can catch it from their owners and the cats are particularly susceptible.

Contact tracing studies, which have also tested animals for signs of the virus, have found that 20% and 50% of cats living with infected people have signs of infection, while 20% โ€“30% of dogs were infected.

For “This is quite normal,” Pets to get COVID, Weiss said.

Now, two new studies have shown that fur babies can also be infected with the new B.1.1.7 variant.

Researchers at Texas A&M documented the version in the first study, a dog and a cat from Brazos County, Texas. Neither chronic black lab mix or chronic domestic shorthair cat had symptoms of COVID-19. They were tested as part of a project funded by the CDC.

Wes said that pets are at risk by infected people, but they do not play a large role in spreading the disease to humans. So if you have pets, there is no reason to worry that they may bring the virus to your home. You are more likely to be a risk to them.

Second studyInfection by the B.1.1.7 virus version was documented in 11 dogs and cats, from a specialized animal hospital in South England. Most pets had unusual symptoms, including inflamed hearts and heart damage.

Waze described the study as interesting and said its findings deserve more investigation, but pointed out that the study could not determine whether the infection harmed the heart, or whether it had already.

“It’s a human virus. There’s no doubt about it. It can affect other species, but it likes people a lot better,” he said.

“Pets are very low-risk if you think about the big picture and what the potential role of animals is,” he said.


Javier Montegutelli, PhD, Head of the Mouse Genetics Laboratory, Institute Pasteur, Paris, France

Scott Weisz, DVM, Professor, University of Gulf at Ontario Veterinary College, Canada

Sarah Hammer, DVM, Veterinarian and Epidemiologist, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, College Station, Texas

Biorics, March 18, 2021

Texas A&M Press Release, March 15, 2021

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