United States: 80% of deer positive for Covid-19, a new stockpile of virus?

After bats and minks, have deer become the new reservoir of Kovid-19? According to a US study identified by echoThese animals are getting increasingly affected by the virus. While they were only a third of those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between April and December 2020, they were over 80% between November 2020 and January 2021.

“This is the first direct evidence for SARS-CoV-2 virus in a free-living species, and our findings have important implications for the ecology and long-term persistence of the virus.”Study co-author Suresh Kuchipudi and clinical professor of veterinary 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 deer sampled in December were positive for SARS-CoV-2, which is proportionally about 50 times higher than the reported positivity rate at the peak of infection in humans at that time.”, Indic Suresh Kuchipudi.

After sequencing, the study authors discovered the presence of several variants, consistent with those that had also been identified in humans. According to him, deer have been contaminated by humans, with the greatest peak of contamination occurring during the hunting season. Then the deer would contaminate each other.

Concerned about these results, the researchers say they fear, beyond contamination from other species, a boomerang effect in humans, as seen with mink farmed at the time. The virus may also have other mutations. for scientists, established “Several Remedies” Is necessary “To monitor the spread of the virus in deer and in turn to prevent further contamination in humans.”

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