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1.
Zoo Biol ; 41(3): 234-243, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588863

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has impacted virtually all aspects of a global society. By using a transdisciplinary team and methodology, our study highlights the importance of utilizing a One Health approach to address global health and conservation challenges in tandem. We examined how conservation conducted by an accredited zoological institution was altered by the pandemic. In July 2020, we surveyed a select subset of Saint Louis Zoo employees to understand how these staff members perceived their conservation work to be affected during this time. Additionally, in November and December 2020, seven survey respondents were interviewed virtually for qualitative data. Our hypothesis was that lack of funding, reduced ability to travel, and shifting priorities among conservation professionals, as well as their respective institutions, would be significant barriers to conservation efforts. Our survey results revealed that the top three perceived challenges to conservation projects at the Saint Louis Zoo due to the COVID-19 pandemic were lack of funding (83.9%), reductions in Zoo visitors (56.3%), and inability/lack of ability to access field sites and laboratories (55.2%). Respondents also indicated that the top three most important Zoo conservation activities before the COVID-19 pandemic were (1) local/national/global wildlife management and recovery programs, (tie 2) caring for animals in the Zoo's collection, and (tie 2) genetic breeding programs. At least half of respondents indicated that the pandemic had significantly or slightly decreased the ability of staff to perform all three activities. Results supported our hypothesis that reduced funding, limited travel, and shifting priorities were challenges to zoological conservation at this institution. Although travel restrictions will likely persist, continual funding will be critical for maintaining conservation. Our results also indicate that reductions in Zoo visitors were another perceived barrier to conservation and that staff needed to find novel ways to connect with the public. Results from this study may help zoos and aquariums better understand the unique pandemic-associated challenges that threaten conservation at their institutions and may be helpful in designing programs and projects in a post-pandemic world.


Subject(s)
Animals, Zoo , COVID-19 , Animals , Animals, Wild , COVID-19/epidemiology , Conservation of Natural Resources/methods , Pandemics
2.
Virulence ; 12(1): 2777-2786, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565872

ABSTRACT

Several animal species, including ferrets, hamsters, monkeys, and raccoon dogs, have been shown to be susceptible to experimental infection by the human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, which were responsible for the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, respectively. Emerging studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 natural infection of pet dogs and cats is also possible, but its prevalence is not fully understood. Experimentally, it has been demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 replicates more efficiently in cats than in dogs and that cats can transmit the virus through aerosols. With approximately 470 million pet dogs and 370 million pet cats cohabitating with their human owners worldwide, the finding of natural SARS-CoV-2 infection in these household pets has important implications for potential zoonotic transmission events during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as future SARS-related outbreaks. Here, we describe some of the ongoing worldwide surveillance efforts to assess the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 exposure in companion, captive, wild, and farmed animals, as well as provide some perspectives on these efforts including the intra- and inter-species coronavirus transmissions, evolution, and their implications on the human-animal interface along with public health. Some ongoing efforts to develop and implement a new COVID-19 vaccine for animals are also discussed. Surveillance initiatives to track SARS-CoV-2 exposures in animals are necessary to accurately determine their impact on veterinary and human health, as well as define potential reservoir sources of the virus and its evolutionary and transmission dynamics.


Subject(s)
Animals, Domestic/virology , Animals, Wild/virology , Animals, Zoo/virology , COVID-19/veterinary , Pets/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Vaccines , Disease Reservoirs/statistics & numerical data , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Ferrets/virology , Humans , Prevalence , Viral Zoonoses/epidemiology , Viral Zoonoses/prevention & control , Viral Zoonoses/virology
3.
Virulence ; 12(1): 2777-2786, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483322

ABSTRACT

Several animal species, including ferrets, hamsters, monkeys, and raccoon dogs, have been shown to be susceptible to experimental infection by the human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, which were responsible for the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, respectively. Emerging studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 natural infection of pet dogs and cats is also possible, but its prevalence is not fully understood. Experimentally, it has been demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 replicates more efficiently in cats than in dogs and that cats can transmit the virus through aerosols. With approximately 470 million pet dogs and 370 million pet cats cohabitating with their human owners worldwide, the finding of natural SARS-CoV-2 infection in these household pets has important implications for potential zoonotic transmission events during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as future SARS-related outbreaks. Here, we describe some of the ongoing worldwide surveillance efforts to assess the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 exposure in companion, captive, wild, and farmed animals, as well as provide some perspectives on these efforts including the intra- and inter-species coronavirus transmissions, evolution, and their implications on the human-animal interface along with public health. Some ongoing efforts to develop and implement a new COVID-19 vaccine for animals are also discussed. Surveillance initiatives to track SARS-CoV-2 exposures in animals are necessary to accurately determine their impact on veterinary and human health, as well as define potential reservoir sources of the virus and its evolutionary and transmission dynamics.


Subject(s)
Animals, Domestic/virology , Animals, Wild/virology , Animals, Zoo/virology , COVID-19/veterinary , Pets/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Vaccines , Disease Reservoirs/statistics & numerical data , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Ferrets/virology , Humans , Prevalence , Viral Zoonoses/epidemiology , Viral Zoonoses/prevention & control , Viral Zoonoses/virology
4.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374532

ABSTRACT

To date, no evidence supports the fact that animals play a role in the epidemiology of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, several animal species are naturally susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Besides pets (cats, dogs, Syrian hamsters, and ferrets) and farm animals (minks), different zoo animal species have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (large felids and non-human primates). After the summer of 2020, a second wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection occurred in Barcelona (Spain), reaching a peak of positive cases in November. During that period, four lions (Panthera leo) at the Barcelona Zoo and three caretakers developed respiratory signs and tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 antigen. Lion infection was monitored for several weeks and nasal, fecal, saliva, and blood samples were taken at different time-points. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in nasal samples from all studied lions and the viral RNA was detected up to two weeks after the initial viral positive test in three out of four animals. The SARS-CoV-2 genome was also detected in the feces of animals at different times. Virus isolation was successful only from respiratory samples of two lions at an early time-point. The four animals developed neutralizing antibodies after the infection that were detectable four months after the initial diagnosis. The partial SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence from one animal caretaker was identical to the sequences obtained from lions. Chronology of the events, the viral dynamics, and the genomic data support human-to-lion transmission as the origin of infection.


Subject(s)
Animal Diseases/virology , COVID-19/veterinary , Lions , SARS-CoV-2 , Animal Diseases/diagnosis , Animal Diseases/immunology , Animal Diseases/transmission , Animals , Animals, Wild , Animals, Zoo , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Genome, Viral , Genomics/methods , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Male , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spain
6.
Vet Q ; 41(1): 181-201, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1202174

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, previously 2019-nCoV) is suspected of having originated in 2019 in China from a coronavirus infected bat of the genus Rhinolophus. Following the initial emergence, possibly facilitated by a mammalian bridge host, SARS-CoV-2 is currently transmitted across the globe via efficient human-to-human transmission. Results obtained from experimental studies indicate that animal species such as cats, ferrets, raccoon dogs, cynomolgus macaques, rhesus macaques, white-tailed deer, rabbits, Egyptian fruit bats, and Syrian hamsters are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and that cat-to-cat and ferret-to-ferret transmission can take place via contact and air. However, natural infections of SARS-CoV-2 have been reported only in pet dogs and cats, tigers, lions, snow leopards, pumas, and gorillas at zoos, and farmed mink and ferrets. Even though human-to-animal spillover has been reported at several instances, SARS-CoV-2 transmission from animals-to-humans has only been reported from mink-to-humans in mink farms. Following the rapid transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within the mink population, a new mink-associated SARS-CoV-2 variant emerged that was identified in both humans and mink. The increasing reports of SARS-CoV-2 in carnivores indicate the higher susceptibility of animal species belonging to this order. The sporadic reports of SARS-CoV-2 infection in domestic and wild animal species require further investigation to determine if SARS-CoV-2 or related Betacoronaviruses can get established in kept, feral or wild animal populations, which may eventually act as viral reservoirs. This review analyzes the current evidence of SARS-CoV-2 natural infection in domestic and wild animal species and their possible implications on public health.


Subject(s)
Animals, Domestic , Animals, Wild , COVID-19/veterinary , Disease Reservoirs/veterinary , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Animals, Zoo , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Humans
7.
Vet Rec ; 188(7): 242-243, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1173864
8.
J Zoo Wildl Med ; 51(4): 733-744, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1041161

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged as the cause of a global pandemic in 2019-2020. In March 2020, New York City became the epicenter in the United States for the pandemic. On 27 March 2020, a Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) at the Bronx Zoo in New York City developed a cough and wheezing with subsequent inappetence. Over the next week, an additional Malayan tiger and two Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) in the same building and three lions (Panthera leo krugeri) in a separate building also became ill. The index case was anesthetized for diagnostic workup. Physical examination and bloodwork results were unremarkable. Thoracic radiography and ultrasonography revealed a bronchial pattern with peribronchial cuffing and mild lung consolidation with alveolar-interstitial syndrome, respectively. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified by real-time, reverse transcriptase PCR (rRT-PCR) on oropharyngeal and nasal swabs and tracheal wash fluid. Cytologic examination of tracheal wash fluid revealed necrosis, and viral RNA was detected in necrotic cells by in situ hybridization, confirming virus-associated tissue damage. SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from the tracheal wash fluid of the index case, as well as the feces from one Amur tiger and one lion. Fecal viral RNA shedding was confirmed in all seven clinical cases and an asymptomatic Amur tiger. Respiratory signs abated within 1-5 days for most animals, although they persisted intermittently for 16 days in the index case. Fecal RNA shedding persisted for as long as 35 days beyond cessation of respiratory signs. This case series describes the clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluation, and management of tigers and lions infected with SARS-CoV-2 and describes the duration of viral RNA fecal shedding in these cases. This report documents the first known natural transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to nondomestic felids.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Feces/virology , Lions/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tigers/virology , Animals , Animals, Zoo , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , Bacterial Proteins/isolation & purification , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , DNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , DNA-Binding Proteins/isolation & purification , New York City/epidemiology , Transcription Factors/genetics , Transcription Factors/isolation & purification
9.
Vet Pathol ; 58(2): 234-242, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-969446

ABSTRACT

Over the past decade, pandemics caused by pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) influenza virus in 2009 and severe acute respiratory syndrome virus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019 have emerged. Both are high-impact respiratory pathogens originating from animals. Their wide distribution in the human population subsequently results in an increased risk of human-to-animal transmission: reverse zoonosis. Although there have only been rare reports of reverse zoonosis events associated with the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic from SARS-CoV-2 so far, comparison with the pH1N1 influenza pandemic can provide a better understanding of the possible consequences of such events for public and animal health. The results of our review suggest that similar factors contribute to successful crossing of the host species barriers in both pandemics. Specific risk factors include sufficient interaction between infected humans and recipient animals, suitability of the animal host factors for productive virus infection, and suitability of the animal host population for viral persistence. Of particular concern is virus spread to susceptible animal species, in which group housing and contact network structure could potentially result in an alternative virus reservoir, from which reintroduction into humans can take place. Virus exposure in high-density populations could allow sustained transmission in susceptible animal species. Identification of the risk factors and serological surveillance in SARS-CoV-2-susceptible animal species that are group-housed should help reduce the threat from reverse zoonosis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/transmission , Zoonoses/transmission , Animals , Animals, Domestic , Animals, Wild , Animals, Zoo , Humans , Pets , Risk Factors
10.
mBio ; 11(5)2020 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-868276

ABSTRACT

Despite numerous barriers to transmission, zoonoses are the major cause of emerging infectious diseases in humans. Among these, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and ebolaviruses have killed thousands; the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has killed millions. Zoonoses and human-to-animal cross-species transmission are driven by human actions and have important management, conservation, and public health implications. The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, which presumably originated from an animal reservoir, has killed more than half a million people around the world and cases continue to rise. In March 2020, New York City was a global epicenter for SARS-CoV-2 infections. During this time, four tigers and three lions at the Bronx Zoo, NY, developed mild, abnormal respiratory signs. We detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA in respiratory secretions and/or feces from all seven animals, live virus in three, and colocalized viral RNA with cellular damage in one. We produced nine whole SARS-CoV-2 genomes from the animals and keepers and identified different SARS-CoV-2 genotypes in the tigers and lions. Epidemiologic and genomic data indicated human-to-tiger transmission. These were the first confirmed cases of natural SARS-CoV-2 animal infections in the United States and the first in nondomestic species in the world. We highlight disease transmission at a nontraditional interface and provide information that contributes to understanding SARS-CoV-2 transmission across species.IMPORTANCE The human-animal-environment interface of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an important aspect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that requires robust One Health-based investigations. Despite this, few reports describe natural infections in animals or directly link them to human infections using genomic data. In the present study, we describe the first cases of natural SARS-CoV-2 infection in tigers and lions in the United States and provide epidemiological and genetic evidence for human-to-animal transmission of the virus. Our data show that tigers and lions were infected with different genotypes of SARS-CoV-2, indicating two independent transmission events to the animals. Importantly, infected animals shed infectious virus in respiratory secretions and feces. A better understanding of the susceptibility of animal species to SARS-CoV-2 may help to elucidate transmission mechanisms and identify potential reservoirs and sources of infection that are important in both animal and human health.


Subject(s)
Animals, Zoo/virology , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Pandemics/veterinary , Panthera/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/veterinary , Animals , Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Haplotypes , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , One Health , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Zoonoses/epidemiology , Zoonoses/transmission , Zoonoses/virology
11.
Am J Primatol ; 82(8): e23158, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-526544

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has radically changed the human activities worldwide. Although we are still learning about the disease, it is necessary that primatologists, veterinarians, and all that are living with nonhuman primates (NHP) be concerned about the probable health impacts as these animals face this new pandemic. We want to increase discussion with the scientific community that is directly involved with these animals, because preliminary studies report that NHP may become infected and develop symptoms similar to those in human beings.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Pandemics/veterinary , Pneumonia, Viral/veterinary , Primate Diseases/virology , Primates/virology , Animals , Animals, Zoo , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Macaca fascicularis , Macaca mulatta , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Primate Diseases/blood , Primate Diseases/etiology , Primate Diseases/transmission , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Viral Load/veterinary , Weight Loss
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