Lions And Zoos

Oh dear! From the United States to India, even animals are infected with COVID


One-third of white-tailed deer in the northeastern United States developed antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, indicating they had been infected in some way, according to a study.

White-tailed deer have been exposed to coronavirus | Photo: Wikipedia

One-third of white-tailed deer in the northeastern United States developed antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, indicating they had been infected in some way, according to a study.

The researchers analyzed samples collected after the start of the pandemic in what may be the first detection of the virus in a population of wild animals. They targeted the white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginian, for evidence-based serological surveillance that these deer have receptors with high affinity for SARS-CoV-2.

The study – published in a pre-publication that has not yet been peer-reviewed on bioRxiv – indicates that antibodies were detected in 40% of the samples. This suggests that the white-tailed deer have been exposed to the virus.

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“It’s an intriguing observation but one that should always be interpreted with caution,” Nature magazine said, quoting Aaron Irving, an infectious disease researcher at Zhejiang University in Haining, China.

Previous experiments have shown that deer can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 and transmit the virus to other deer. The findings raise concerns that animal populations may harbor the SARS CoV-2 virus as reservoirs, even after vaccination of humans. Researchers fear that these virus reservoirs could allow COVID-19 to spread to other species and return to humans.

The researchers collected 385 blood samples from wildlife surveillance between January and March 2021, of which 152 samples showed the presence of antibodies. These samples were collected from the Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois and New York areas.

“Given the percentage of samples in this study that contained detectable antibodies, as well as the high number of white-tailed deer in the United States and their close contact with people, it is likely that deer in other states have also been exposed to the virus, ”Nature said, citing a spokesperson for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Two rare Sumatran tigers at a zoo in Indonesia are recovering after being infected with COVID-19.

Nine-year-old Tino fell ill on July 9. Two days later, 12-year-old Hari exhibited similar symptoms. The tigers were immediately treated with antibiotics, antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, and multivitamins. They were improving after 10 to 12 days and have now recovered under close observation at Ragunan Zoo in Jakarta.

Near their home, eight Asian lions at Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad had also tested positive for COVID-19. Symptoms eased after the lions were given medication for almost two weeks. Analysis of the samples revealed that the infection was not caused by any variant of concern.


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