Preprint: White-tailed deer still harbouring Alpha, Gamma and Delta variants in New York

America, Animals, Coronavirus, Deer, Genome, Health, Infection, New York State, Preprint, Research, Reservoir, Spillover, Testing, Transmission, USA, Zoonosis

Nine lineages including three major variants of concern; Alpha, Gamma and Delta, were detected in White-tailed deer samples in New York.

The SARS-CoV-2 sequences recovered in Season 1 were classified as B.1, B.1.1, B.1.2, B1.243, B.1.409, B.1.507 and Alpha, whereas in Season 2, B.1.1, B.1.2, B.1.517, Alpha, Gamma and Delta lineages were detected.

The Alpha variant was detected in multiple geographic locations in White-tailed deer across New York, in a time where there is no evidence that the virus was broadly circulating in humans in the state.

The time lapse between the peak of detection of Alpha and Gamma variants in humans and in White-tailed deer, suggest that these variants may have become established in White-tailed deer in New York

Detection of Alpha and Gamma variants in White-tailed deer long after their broad circulation in humans in New York suggests that White tailed deer may serve as a wildlife reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern no longer circulating in humans. .

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