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Nature ; 602(7897): 481-486, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585829


Humans have infected a wide range of animals with SARS-CoV-21-5, but the establishment of a new natural animal reservoir has not been observed. Here we document that free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are highly susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2, are exposed to multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants from humans and are capable of sustaining transmission in nature. Using real-time PCR with reverse transcription, we detected SARS-CoV-2 in more than one-third (129 out of 360, 35.8%) of nasal swabs obtained from O. virginianus in northeast Ohio in the USA during January to March 2021. Deer in six locations were infected with three SARS-CoV-2 lineages (B.1.2, B.1.582 and B.1.596). The B.1.2 viruses, dominant in humans in Ohio at the time, infected deer in four locations. We detected probable deer-to-deer transmission of B.1.2, B.1.582 and B.1.596 viruses, enabling the virus to acquire amino acid substitutions in the spike protein (including the receptor-binding domain) and ORF1 that are observed infrequently in humans. No spillback to humans was observed, but these findings demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 viruses have been transmitted in wildlife in the USA, potentially opening new pathways for evolution. There is an urgent need to establish comprehensive 'One Health' programmes to monitor the environment, deer and other wildlife hosts globally.

Animals, Wild/virology , COVID-19/veterinary , Deer/virology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Zoonoses/transmission , Viral Zoonoses/virology , Amino Acid Sequence , Amino Acid Substitution , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Evolution, Molecular , Humans , Male , Ohio/epidemiology , One Health/trends , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Zoonoses/epidemiology
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 09 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1411082


Approximately 67% of U.S. households have pets. Limited data are available on SARS-CoV-2 in pets. We assessed SARS-CoV-2 infection in pets during a COVID-19 household transmission investigation. Pets from households with ≥1 person with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were eligible for inclusion from April-May 2020. We enrolled 37 dogs and 19 cats from 34 households. All oropharyngeal, nasal, and rectal swabs tested negative by rRT-PCR; one dog's fur swabs (2%) tested positive by rRT-PCR at the first sampling. Among 47 pets with serological results, eight (17%) pets (four dogs, four cats) from 6/30 (20%) households had detectable SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. In households with a seropositive pet, the proportion of people with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 was greater (median 79%; range: 40-100%) compared to households with no seropositive pet (median 37%; range: 13-100%) (p = 0.01). Thirty-three pets with serologic results had frequent daily contact (≥1 h) with the index patient before the person's COVID-19 diagnosis. Of these 33 pets, 14 (42%) had decreased contact with the index patient after diagnosis and none were seropositive; of the 19 (58%) pets with continued contact, four (21%) were seropositive. Seropositive pets likely acquired infection after contact with people with COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should restrict contact with pets and other animals.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Pets/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19/history , COVID-19/transmission , Cats , Dogs , Family Characteristics , History, 21st Century , Humans , Pets/history , Phylogeny , Population Surveillance , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Utah/epidemiology , Viral Zoonoses/epidemiology , Wisconsin/epidemiology