Gorillas and lions infected with #coronavirus in #Prague zoo

A gorilla and two lions have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Prague Zoo, which is closed amid lockdown restrictions in the country.

The animals were mostly likely infected by staff and other animals will be tested, Bobek said. Prague Zoo was in touch with other zoos that have seen COVID-19 cases.

Reuters report



Image by Alexandra ❤️A life without animals is not worth living❤️ from Pixabay

#Coinfection with #influenza A virus enhances #SARSCoV2 infectivity

“In this study, we tested whether IAV infection could affect the subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection in both cultured cells and mice. Our results demonstrate that preinfection with IAV strongly enhances the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 by boosting viral entry into cells and elevating the viral load, leading to more severe lung damage in infected mice. These data suggest a clear auxo-action of IAV on SARS-CoV-2 infection, which underscores the great risk of influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2 coinfection to public health.”

Nature.com Cell Research Paper


Image by Nature_Blossom from Pixabay

Predicting mammalian hosts in which novel coronaviruses can be generated

“..the most immediate threat to public health is recombination of other coronaviruses with SARS-CoV-2. Such recombination could readily produce further novel viruses with both the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 and additional pathogenicity or viral tropism from elsewhere in the Coronaviridae”

The most prominent result for a SARS-CoV-2 recombination host is the domestic pig (Sus scrofa), having the most predicted associations of all included non-human mammals. The pig is a major known mammalian coronavirus host, harbouring both a large number of observed coronaviruses, as well as a wide diversity. Given the large number of predicted viral associations presented here, the pig’s close association to humans, its known reservoir status for many other zoonotic viruses, and its involvement in genetic recombination of some of these viruses, the pig is predicted to be one of the foremost candidates an important recombination host.

Nature.com article


Image by Roy Buri from Pixabay

Denmark was right to cull mink: “SARS-CoV-2 mutations acquired in mink reduce antibody-mediated neutralization”

“These results suggest that antibody responses induced upon infection or certain antibodies used for treatment might offer insufficient protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants from mink.”

Biorxiv.org preprint study


felixd, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

White tiger cubs died of #coronavirus, Lahore zoo says

Two tiger cubs who recently died in a Pakistani Zoo appear to have been killed by Covid-19, officials have said.

The two 11-week-old white tiger cubs who lived at Lahore Zoo died four days after beginning treatment for feline panleukopenia virus, a common virus affecting cats’ respiratory systems.

However, an autopsy has revealed severe lung damage, with pathologists concluding they died from Covid-19

Independent report



Cougar & Tiger infected with #coronavirus at a Wild Animal Exhibitor in #Texas

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) today announced confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in a cougar at a facility that exhibits wild animals in Texas. This is the first cougar in the United States to be confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2. A tiger from the same facility was also confirmed positive for the virus.

USDA announcement


Image by PLymouthDriver from Pixabay

Bats in Thailand found with coronaviruses similar to Sars-cov-2

Horseshoe bats carrying coronaviruses very similar to the one that causes Covid-19 have been found in Thailand

The study found a coronavirus in the horseshoe bat Rhinolophus acuminatus in Thailand that was 91.5 per cent similar to Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

So far, the closest relative to Sars-CoV-2 has been detected in the horseshoe bat Rhinolophus affinis in China’s Yunnan province – with a genetic similarity of 96.2 per cent.

The Straits Times article

See also: A novel Sars-cov-2 related coronavirus in bats from Cambodia


By Marie Jullion – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3359176

Two Sumatran tigers test positive for Covid-19 at Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, USA

Two Sumatran tigers at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo are recovering after coming down with COVID-19 infections.

Bugara, the male, started exhibiting a dry cough and other symptoms of infection early last week. Indah, the female, has shown only mild symptoms of illness. Fecal matter analysis showed the tigers were COVID positive.

Fort Wayne’s NBC report


 Image by Jolanta Dyr from Pixabay

#Coronavirus attacks the brain and triggers severe #Covid19 disease in mice

“Our thinking that [Covid-19] is more of a respiratory disease is not necessarily true,” Kumar said. “Once it infects the brain it can affect anything because the brain is controlling your lungs, the heart, everything. The brain is a very sensitive organ. It’s the central processor for everything.”

Georgia State University biology researchers have found that infecting the nasal passages of mice with the virus that causes COVID-19 led to a rapid, escalating attack on the brain that triggered severe illness, even after the lungs were successfully clearing themselves of the virus.

Assistant professor Mukesh Kumar, the study’s lead researcher, said the findings have implications for understanding the wide range in symptoms and severity of illness among humans who are infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

“Our thinking that it’s more of a respiratory disease is not necessarily true,” Kumar said. “Once it infects the brain it can affect anything because the brain is controlling your lungs, the heart, everything. The brain is a very sensitive organ. It’s the central processor for everything.”

Georgia State University news report is here

The study report is here


Image by Tibor Janosi Mozes from Pixabay

A novel #SARSCoV2 related #coronavirus in bats from #Cambodia

Here we describe the identification of SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses in two Rhinolophus shameli bats sampled in Cambodia in 2010. Metagenomic sequencing identified nearly identical viruses sharing 92.6% nucleotide identity with SARS-CoV-2. Most genomic regions are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, with the exception of a small region corresponding to the spike N terminal domain. The discovery of these viruses in a bat species not found in China indicates that SARS-CoV-2 related viruses have a much wider geographic distribution than previously understood, and suggests that Southeast Asia represents a key area to consider in the ongoing search for the origins of SARS-CoV-2, and in future surveillance for coronaviruses.



By Marie Jullion – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3377471

#Coronavirus #vaccine that has proven safe and effective in mice and monkeys

Researchers at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that has proven safe and effective in mice and monkeys. Results from this National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)-funded study are published online today in Immunity.

The Emory MVA COVID-19 vaccine approaches inducing protective immunity via modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA), a harmless version of a poxvirus that is well-known for its use in HIV/AIDS vaccines. Like the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, the Emory MVA COVID-19 vaccine induces strong neutralizing antibodies, which support the immune system’s ability to fight infections. The Emory MVA COVID-19 takes protection several steps further, starting with inducing killer CD8 T cells in addition to the neutralizing antibodies, providing a multi-pronged approach to halting SAR-COV-2. In addition, the Emory researchers say the vaccine is easily adaptable to address disease variants, can be used in combination with existing vaccines to improve their ability to combat variants and has the potential to be equally effective with a single dose.