UK #coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 may not have evolved spontaneously in the UK or within human populations

“Here we analyzed 454,443 SARS-CoV-2 spike genes/proteins and 14,427 whole-genome sequences. We demonstrated that the early variant B.1.1.7 may not have evolved spontaneously in the United Kingdom or within human populations. Our extensive analyses suggested that Canidae, Mustelidae or Felidae, especially the Canidae family (for example, dog) could be a possible host of the direct progenitor of variant B.1.1.7.”

Biorxiv preprint: Potential transmission chains of variant B.1.1.7 and co-mutations of SARS-CoV-2



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SARS-CoV-2 #coronavirus spike protein gene variants with N501T and G142D mutation dominated infections in US minks

We analyzed all animal-derived (977), all Canadian (19,529) and US (173,277) SARS-CoV-2 sequences deposited in GISAID from December 2019 to March 12, 2021, and identified 2 dominant novel variants, the N501T-G142D variant and N501T-G142D-F486L variant, in the US mink-derived SARS-CoV-2 sequences. These variants were not found in mink-derived SARS-CoV-2 spike protein gene sequences from other countries. The Y453F mutation was not identified in the US and Canadian mink-derive sequences.

Medrxiv preprint


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SARS-CoV-2 #coronavirus variants from mink evade inhibition by antibodies

“Our results show that one of two antibodies from an antibody cocktail used for COVID-19 therapy no longer efficiently inhibits the viral variant with the Y453F mutation. Furthermore, our study demonstrates that the Y453F mutation reduces inhibition of the virus by antibodies produced by COVID-19 patients. This means that people who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 may have reduced protection against mink variants of the virus,” says Markus Hoffmann report



USA: small study shows 17% of household cats and dogs had detectable #coronavirus sars-cov-2 neutralizing antibodies

We enrolled 37 dogs and 19 cats from 34 of 41 eligible 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 animal sampling. Among 47 pets with serological results from 30 households, eight (17%) pets (4 dogs, 4 cats) from 6 (20%) households had detectable SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies.

Biorxiv preprint One Health Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Seropositivity among Pets in Households with Confirmed Human COVID-19 Cases — Utah and Wisconsin, 2020


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USA: Otters test positive for #coronavirus at Georgia Aquarium

CDC: Experimental infection of cattle with SARS-CoV-2 #coronavirus

“Our findings demonstrate that under experimental conditions cattle show low susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The wide distribution of BCoV is of special interest, especially because the presence of a pre-existing coronavirus did not protect from infection with another betacoronavirus in this study. Double infections of individual animals might lead to recombination events between SARS-CoV-2 and BCoV, a phenomenon already described for other pandemic coronaviruses. A resulting chimeric virus, comprising characteristics of both viruses, could threaten human and livestock populations and should therefore be monitored.”

CDC Study originally printed in December 2020



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2 Lions positive for #coronavirus at Pittsburgh Zoo

The staff at Pittsburgh Zoo say two of their lionesses have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

According to zookeepers, the lions were both displaying some symptoms including occasional coughing and diarrhea. The zoo reports that the two cats likely contracted the virus after an exposure to an asymptomatic zoo employee. Zookeepers say they are in contact with other zoos who have had big cats come down with the virus and using their insight to care for the two infected animals. report



Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome #Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in a Dog, Connecticut, February 2021

Here, we report the first natural infection case of SARS-CoV-2 in dogs in Connecticut. On February 12, 2021, a 3-months-old, female German Shepard dog was presented for postmortem examination at Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory due to sudden death with no signs of illness, as reported by the owner.

“We report the first detection of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus from a dog in Connecticut during February 2021. Complete genome sequencing and phylo-genetic analysis of the hCoV-19/USA/CT-CVMDL-Dog-1/2021 (CT_Dog/2021) virus were con-ducted to identify the origin and lineage of the virus. The CT_Dog/2021 virus belonged to the GH/B1.2. genetic lineage and was genetically close to SARS-CoV-2 identified from humans in the U.S. during the winter of 2020-2021. However, it was not related to other SARS-CoV-2 identified from companion animals in the U.S. It contained both D614G in spike and P323L in nsp12 substitutions which have become the dominant mutations in the United States. The continued sporadic detections of SARS-CoV-2 in companion animals warrant public health concerns about their potential to become a new reservoir species of SARS-CoV-2.” link



USA: about 60 household pets confirmed positive for #coronavirus in Texas study

Researchers at Texas A&M’s Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences department have confirmed a cat and dog living in the same house have contracted the UK variant of COVID-19 B.1.1.7.  All of the animals enrolled in their study, about 450 so far, live in Brazos County and live inside homes where a human tested positive for COVID-19. About 60 animals have been confirmed with COVID-19, and a quarter of those animals showed mild symptoms like lack of energy, sneezing and diarrhea. All of the pets infected have recovered. report



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USA: 2 Malayan tigers at Norfolk, Virginia zoo test positive for #coronavirus

Two tigers at a zoo in Virginia have tested positive for the coronavirus. The Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that the Malayan tigers live at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.The zoo said it doesn’t know how its tigers were infected. It’s working with health officials and other experts to find out.

The big cats are named Stubbley and Osceola. They started showing mild symptoms such as dry cough and wheezing last week. Testing later confirmed they have COVID. Test results for a third tiger are pending. Zoo officials expect them to fully recover as tigers have at other zoos. report


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North Jutland waste company wants to burn Denmark’s culled coronavirus infected mink after they have been exhumed

The task of digging up Denmark’s 17 million culled mink and burning them has been put out to tender. According to the Danish Waste Association, 13 plants across the country have shown interest in bidding for the project.

“Someone has to do it, and since we have the capacity for it, we can just as well bid”, says the North Jutland waste company’s chairman Kristoffer Hjort Storm”.

One of them is the North Jutland company, which according to the chairman of the board can probably receive 60 tonnes of dead animals a day in the form of two wagon loads. “We have decided that the trucks that are to come to Aalborg with the minks must arrive outside our normal opening hours. Then they come directly in and load the minks into our silo, where they are mixed with other waste,” says Kristoffer Hjort Storm.

While the driver may have to keep his nose shut when unloading the dead animals, according to the chairman of the board, it will not give rise to odor nuisances for the citizens. “The minks are burned at high temperatures, and we have many procedures for cleaning the smoke. There will be no odor nuisance from the smoke. We are completely convinced of that,” says Kristoffer Hjort Storm.

The North Jutland waste company also burned a small amount of dead mink back in November, when the decision to kill all mink had been made.

A trial burning of the minks is expected to take place in mid-May. If everything goes according to plan, the burning of the minks will take place continuously from the end of May until July.

Nord News report



Latvia: 9 mink dead from #coronavirus on Baltic Devon mink farm, worker also ill with Covid-19

Covid-19 infection has been detected in nine dead mink at the Baltic Devon Mink farm in Lecava municipality, Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) told LSM April 10. Overall, Baltic Devon Mink has approximately 60 thousand mink, but Covid-19 has been found in nine dead animals. At the same time, the PVD has received information from the  Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC) regarding a sick worker of the company.

“We have also received information from the SPKC that an employee has also been found ill. Given that  Covid-19 is a human disease, then most likely these people have brought this infection to the animals. Mink slaughter is not necessary at this time, as this disease has not yet led to mass mortality or morbidity in animals on the farm. We are currently working with SPKC and conducting an epidemiological investigation to obtain more information and then to make further decisions,” said the PVD specialist Edvīns Oļševskis. report




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UK: Primary school children have highest #coronavirus infection level

Primary school children aged 5-12 are now the group with the highest COVID infection level in the UK, at 0.41%.  School re-openings are thought to be the reason why children have become the most infected group.

The lowest rate of COVID infection is now in those aged 65 and above, at 0.09%.

REACT study: Primary school children have highest COVID infection level