This CNET Article discusses research on SARS-CoV-2 in several common animals, as well as a bit of history on the virus. The article also discusses the animal origins of this virus, and a quick summary to date. A limited number of animals have been tested for and proven to be infected by the virus. No proof of humans catching it back from animals has happened. Very little study has occurred on the communicablility, and it was initially thought to be no risk.
The jist of the research paper is that adults and juvenile cats can get it the same as humans; young cats and ferrets can get it just in the upper respiratory tract (sinuses, tonsils), but not the lower respiratory tract. Dogs can technically get it, but are not very susceptible. It does not stay in them long. Ducks, pigs, pidgeons, etc are not susceptible at all.
Another group did computer modeling of 253 animals’ ACE2 receptors to see what other animals we should investigate as possible transmission vectors.
- Human, Flying Fox, Horseshoe Bat, Lynx, Civet, Cat, Swine, Pangolin, Cow, Buffalo, Mustela (ferrets, weasles, etc), Goats, Sheep, ACE2 were clustered with humans.
- Mice, birds, reptiles, etc were not, and mice were proven not susceptible.
- Civet and Bat have been implicated in SARS1 sources, and Pangolin and Bat for SARS2 sources.
This chart shows the ACE2 receptors that conserve the same binding sites as humans. They suspect that 50% and above “could” harbor the virus, but that birds generally are not a reservoir for betacoronaviruses. We see in other research that dogs, at 90%, are poor carriers, and clear the virus within 4 days. Swine were not actually susceptible, and ferrets were not able to get it into their lungs. The mechanism of those differences is unknown.