France: Sars-CoV-2 detected in domestic rabbits

We tested 144 pet rabbits in France between November 2020 and June 2021 for antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

We found one sample seropositive for both antigens and another positive only for RBD. For positive rabbits, at the time of sampling, no particular symptom consistent with SARS-CoV-2 infection was noted by the veterinarians. study: First Evidence of Natural SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Domestic Rabbits 




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USA: White tailed deer positive for Sars-CoV-2 in New Jersey, New York, Minnesota, Pennsylvania

Two free-ranging deer have tested positive for Sars-CoV-2 in New Jersey.  Deer in six other states, including New York and Pennsylvania, also tested positive. They were tested as part of an ongoing surveillance project, the NJDEP said

In a separate report, nine of 142 (6.3%) wild deer tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in a study by the University of Minnesota.

New Jersey report from the

Minnesota report from the University of Minnesota





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France: Two wild badgers and three martens test positive for Sars-CoV-2

In Brittany, seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 was detected in five wild mustelids out of 32 animals tested.

In the French region of Brittany, mainly in the department of the Côtes d’Armor, during the first semester of 2021, seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 was detected in five wild mustelids out of 32 animals tested. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG against at least four out of five recombinant viral proteins (S1 receptor binding domain, nucleocapsid, S1 subunit, S2 subunit and spike) were detected using automated western blot technique in three martens (Martes martes) and two badgers (Meles meles)

All the mustelids studied lived in anthropized and non-isolated rural areas. From one or more index cases, transmission spread directly between mustelids. This is certain for the badgers from Perret, Côte d’Armor.

Biorxiv preprint: Evidence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in wild mustelids from Brittany (France) 



Cattle infected with Covid



Image by PBarlowArt from Pixabay
Image by gruberthecat from Pixabay


Cattle infected with Covid

Eleven cows from different farms in Germany test positive for Sars-CoV-2.

Here, we serologically investigated 1000 cattle samples collected in late 2021 in Germany. Eleven sera tested antibody-positive, indicating that cattle may be occasionally infected by contact to SARS-CoV-2-positive keepers, but there is no indication of further spreading.

All bovine samples were tested by an RBD-based multispecies ELISA performed as described previously. During the initial test validation and during an experimental SARS-CoV-2 infection study in cattle, it could be shown that the ELISA does not cross-react with the bovine coronavirus (BCoV)

Resulting double infections of individual animals could potentially lead to recombination between both viruses, a phenomenon well-described for other coronaviruses. Although, the emergence is highly unlikely due to the low susceptibility of cattle for SARS-CoV-2, a conceivable chimera between SARS-CoV-2 and BCoV could represent an additionally threat. Hence, also ruminants should be included in outbreak investigations and regular screenings should be performed to exclude any spread of new variants in the livestock population.

Biorxiv Preprint: Serological screening suggests single SARS-CoV-2 spillover events to cattle


UPDATE 1 – 26th January 2022:

From a separate study:

“In this study, none of the animals shed detectable infectious virus during the course of the study, while several individual animals (1 calf, 2 goats, and one rabbit) had RT–PCR positive nasal and/or oral swabs, which suggests that these animals may be minimally permissive to infection. Live virus was isolated from the trachea of one calf necropsied on 3 DPI, but no other tissues were positive in that animal, suggesting local infection of the upper respiratory tract during acute infection.”

Susceptibility of livestock to SARS-CoV-2 infection (Angela M. Bosco-Lauth et al)


UPDATE 2 – 26th January 2022

“Investigations on ACE2 polymorphism indicate that the list of SARS-CoV-2 susceptible species may also include the Macaca mulatta (monkey), Felis catus (cat), Canis lupus (dog), Oryctolagus cuniculus (rabbit), Mustela putorius furo (ferret), Mesocricetus auratus (hamster), Bos taurus (cow), Bubalus bubalus (buffalo), Capra hircus (goat), Ovis aries (sheep), and the Mustelidae family (minks), all found to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the virus was efficiently transmitted from one infected animal to another via respiratory droplets.”

Coronavirus Evolution, Cross-Species Transmission and Recombination



Sars-CoV-2 – checkmate to the virus in four moves




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Hong Kong: Thousands of hamsters, rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs killed to prevent Covid outbreak

More than 2,000 hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and chinchillas have been euthanised after some that were imported from the Netherlands were found to be COVID-positive.

A range of small animals found in pet shops with the imported hamsters were seized and put down by authorities, including guinea pigs and rabbits.

Hong Kong authorities said Sunday that just one of over seventy hamsters handed in by pet owners for a COVID cull has tested positive, as thousands of city residents remain under lockdown to combat an outbreak.

The report




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India: Delta variant found in the brain of a dead wild leopard

Scientists from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute have detected Covid infection in a dead wild leopard cub in Uttar Pradesh. Genomic sequencing of samples from the carcass of the cub revealed that it had been naturally infected with the Delta variant.

“Though the necropsy findings suggested traumatic injuries as the immediate cause of death; detection of virus in various tissues indicates systemic SARS-CoV-2 infection of the animal prior to sudden death due to trauma inflicted by another carnivore. Presence of virus in the brain section suggests infection of central nervous system in wild felid which has previously been demonstrated in humans only”

Preprint: Systemic infection of SARS-CoV-2 in free ranging Leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) in India


South Africa: Puma and 3 lions infected with Delta variant in Pretoria Zoo


Image by Tati Halabi from Pixabay

Hong Kong: Hamsters test positive for Delta variant

Hong Kong has found evidence of possible animal-to-human coronavirus transmission at a pet shop where a worker was confirmed as the first untraceable Delta infection in three months, after multiple hamsters tested positive.

“Genome sequencing done on the worker’s virus sample found that the genome type was the one circulating in Europe and Pakistan,” the source said.“ There is a chance of infection through hamsters imported from the Netherlands, which also had the genome type found on the worker. “That’s why it’s very likely that the transmission this time is from animals to humans.” report





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South Africa: Puma and 3 lions infected with Delta variant in Pretoria Zoo

Here we report infection of an exotic puma and three African lions in the same private zoo in Johannesburg, South Africa. Genomic surveillance identified the transmission of a Delta variant from a zookeeper to the three lions, similar to those circulating in humans in South Africa. One lion developed pneumonia while the other cases had mild infection. Both the puma and lions remained positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA for up to 7 weeks

MDPI preprint: SARS-CoV-2 Reverse Zoonoses to Pumas and Lions, South Africa





Image by Kurt Bouda from Pixabay

USA: 3 lions test positive for Sars-CoV-2 in New Orleans zoo

Three of six lions at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana have tested positive for Sars-CoV-2 this week, the zoo has announced.

Arnold, an adult male, Asani, a yearling male, and Kali, an adult female, were tested after they were observed coughing and showing nasal discharge.

“All lions continue to have a normal appetite and appear to be doing well. They are showing few symptoms other than coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge. They are currently being quarantined in their habitat. Veterinarians are monitoring all six lions closely and will treat any serious symptoms as they may arise,” Bob MacLean, Senior Veterinarian at the zoo said in a statement. report


Poland: Sars-CoV-2 spillover evert from mink that lasted at least three months


Preprint: Omicron now binds to mouse ACE2

“Here, we show that the Omicron RBD binds to human ACE2 with enhanced affinity relative to the Wuhan-Hu-1 RBD and acquires binding to mouse ACE2.”

Severe reductions of plasma neutralizing activity were observed against Omicron compared to the ancestral pseudovirus for vaccinated and convalescent individuals. Most (26 out of 29) receptor-binding motif (RBM)-directed monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) lost in vitro neutralizing activity against Omicron, with only three mAbs, including the ACE2-mimicking S2K146 mAb 1 , retaining unaltered potency. Furthermore, a fraction of broadly neutralizing sarbecovirus mAbs recognizing antigenic sites outside the RBM, including sotrovimab 2 , S2X259 3 and S2H97 4 , neutralized Omicron. The magnitude of Omicron-mediated immune evasion and the acquisition of binding to mouse ACE2 mark a major SARS-CoV-2 mutational shift. Broadly neutralizing sarbecovirus mAbs recognizing epitopes conserved among SARS-CoV-2 variants and other sarbecoviruses may prove key to controlling the ongoing pandemic and future zoonotic spillovers.

Preprint: Broadly neutralizing antibodies overcome SARS-CoV-2 Omicron antigenic shift 


Preprint: Evidence for a mouse origin of the Omicron variant



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USA: Three snow leopards die of COVID-19 at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska

Three snow leopards have died of COVID-19 at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska, officials say. It follows the death of another snow leopard at a South Dakota zoo last month.

“It is with deep sadness that we inform our community that three snow leopards at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo have passed away due to complications of COVID-19,” the zoo said in a statement. “This loss is truly heartbreaking, and we are all grieving together.”

Last month, a snow leopard at the Great Plains Zoo in South Dakota also died of coronavirus. report


USA: Up to 80 percent of deer sampled in Iowa are infected with Covid


Image by René Schellenberg from Pixabay

Canada: Covid transmission between mink, between mink and humans, and humans back to mink

The Canadian provincial Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham unveiled a process to permanently phase out the farming of mink, due to concerns over COVID-19. The process is expected to be completed by April 2025.  There are nine mink farms in B.C. with a total of 318,000 mink. Animals on three of those farms have been infected with COVID-19.

“That has led to transmission between mink, between mink and humans, and humans back to mink,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, on Friday. report


Mink: 100% infection, recovery and then 75% re-infection of farmed mink

USA: Hyenas test positive for Sars-Cov-2 in Colorado zoo

Two hyenas at the Denver Zoo have tested positive for the coronavirus, the first confirmed cases among the animals worldwide. In addition to the two hyenas, 11 lions and two tigers at the zoo also tested positive for the virus.

Zoo officials said the hyenas — 22-year-old Ngozi and 23-year-old Kibo — are experiencing mild symptoms, including slight lethargy, some nasal discharge and an occasional cough. report



USA: Covid vaccine breakthrough in three more tigers



Image by minka2507 from Pixabay

USA: Covid vaccine breakthrough in three more tigers

San Diego Zoo officials announced Wednesday that three of their Malaysian tigers have COVID-19, marking the first wildlife cases the organization has reported since vaccinating hundreds of animals this summer.

The tigers had been fully vaccinated as part of a push to protect 250 animals that zoo and Safari Park staff believed were at risk of COVID-19, from cheetahs to baboons to hyenas and an array of other species.

San Diego Union Tribune report


This news comes just days after 11 African lions tested positive for Sars-Cov-2 in Denver Zoo

Denver Gazette report

and four out of five lions at Utah’s Hogle Zoo have confirmed positive infections for Covid-19 report



USA: Covid-19 vaccine breakthrough case in a tiger


* Read more about animals infected with Covid across the globe in our Animals category



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