Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; companion animals; cross-infection
Online: 17 May 2020 (15:27:24 CEST)
Since the COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 break out in Wuhan China from Dec. 2019, it has spread to hundreds of countries up to now. Scientists from all over the world have paid tremendous efforts to research and try to control the disease. Previous studies suggested that some of the wild animals could be intermediate hosts between humans and origination of SARS-CoV-2, and some companion animals of humans can be infected by SARS-CoV-2, which raised our curiosity about cross-infection of SARS-CoV-2 between animals and humans. Thus, we select some kinds of animals that might have contact with humans to estimate the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 in different animals by evolutionary analysis of their receptors for SARS-CoV-2. The results show that some companion animals of the Felidae family like the cat has a higher infection possibility while the species of the Rodent family like the rat and mouse having close contact with humans show an opposite result, which consist with recent animal experiments and researches. These should raise concerns about cross-infection between human and companion animals or animals having close contact with humans which might turn animals into depositaries of the coronavirus even after control of SARS-CoV-2 spreading and cause second or more waves of infections after social reopening. Another side of our results stands by the opinion that bioinformatic analysis can be consistent with experiments in some respects so that we can prevent unnecessary sacrifice of laboratory animals in future experiments.