After bats and minks, are deer the new reservoir of Covid-19? According to an American study identified by reverberationThese animals are increasingly affected by the virus. While only a third tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between April and December 2020, it was more than 80% between November 2020 and January 2021.
“This is the first direct evidence for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in free-living species, and our findings have important implications for the environment and long-term persistence of the virus.”Suresh Kochipudi, co-author of the study and professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a statement.
For this study, which has not yet been submitted for peer review, scientists tested 300 white-tailed deer in Iowa during the peak of Covid-19 contamination in humans in 2020. “We found that 80% of the deer samples sampled in December tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, which is relatively a positivity rate about 50 times higher than what was reported at the peak of infection in man at that time.”And Indyk Suresh Kochibody.
After sequencing, the study authors discovered several variants that were consistent with those that were also identified in humans. According to them, deer have been contaminated by humans, with the greatest spike in pollution occurring during the hunting season. Then the deer pollute each other.
Concerned about these findings, the researchers say they fear, in addition to contamination of other species, a rebound effect in humans, as seen at the time with farmed mink. Other mutations can occur in the virus. For scientists, create ‘Many urgent measures’ Important “To monitor the spread of the virus in deer and thus prevent further contamination in humans.”