Animals and coronavirus
- August 26, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject: Science and tech
Researchers have published a comprehensive analysis of the relative potential risks of coronavirus faced by 410 animal species.
- Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, there have been widely reported instances of a few animals cats, dogs, tigers — being infected with the novel coronavirus, usually transmitted by humans.
- The 410 species analysed are vertebrates — birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
- At the highest level of risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, are several primate species. Some are critically endangered species — such as the Western lowland gorilla, and Sumatran orangutan. Other species at “very high risk” of infection include the chimpanzee and rhesus macaque.
- At “high risk” are species such as blue-eyed black lemur and common bottlenose dolphin.
- The findings are based on an analysis of ACE2 — the enzyme on our cell surface that allows SARS-CoV-2 to infect human cells.
- In humans, 25 amino acids of ACE2 are important for the virus to bind with the cell.
- The researchers used modelling to evaluate how many of these amino acids are found in the ACE2 enzyme of other species. If a species showed a match with all these 25 amino acid residues, it was predicted to be carrying the highest risk. The fewer the matches with the human ACE2, the lower the risk of infection.