Role of COmpanion and LIVEstock animals in the epidemiology of SARS-CoV

Project Details


Almost all Coronaviruses (CoVs) affecting human, including human CoV-NL63, -229E, -OC43, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, have a zoonotic origin. Similarly, phylogenetic and recombination analyses strongly suggested a zoonotic origin for SARS-CoV-2. After adaptation to human, some zoonotic viruses retain the capacity of infecting animals, as regularly shown for influenza A virus. There is a raising concern that SARS-CoV-2 virus may have a host switching potential as well. Anecdotic cases already suggest that Canidae and Felidae are susceptible toSARS-CoV-2 infection. Experimental intranasal infections in ferrets and cats were successful and several other species also express ACE2 virus entry receptors. After reverse zoonosis events, selection pressure during circulation in animals that are not dead-end hosts may lead to new genetic and antigenic variants, constituting a potential threat for public health. Therefore investigating the role of domestic and livestock species in SARS-CoV-2epidemiology is absolutely essential to inform current virus containment and elimination measures. This project thus aims to (i) assess the prevalence of symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in domestic animal species; (ii) identify the factors promoting inter-species transmission; (iii) investigate the role of domestic and livestock animals as dead-end hosts or virus hosts able to sustain virus circulation through viral strain characterization; (iv) provide recommendation to public health authorities to assist their effort in SARS-CoV-2 containment and elimination.
Effective start/end date1/06/2031/03/21


  • FNR - Fonds National de la Recherche: €48,918.00


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