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.
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.”