Dozens of mammals can be infected with COVID-19
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26 animals in contact with people may be susceptible to COVID-19
It has been confirmed by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that cats, dogs, and a few other types of animals can be infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Now, a large modelling study led by UCL researchers says that numerous animals may be vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, reports evidence that 26 animals regularly in contact with people may be susceptible to infection.

The researchers investigated how the spike protein from SARS-CoV-2 could interact with the ACE2 protein it attaches to when it infects people.

The focus of the investigation was whether mutations in the ACE2 protein in 215 different animals, that make it different from the human version, would reduce the stability of the binding complex between the virus protein and host protein. Binding to the protein enables the virus to gain entry into host cells; while it is possible the virus might be able to infect animals via another pathway, it is unlikely based on current evidence that the virus could infect an animal if it cannot form a stable binding complex with ACE2.

The researchers found that for some animals, such as sheep and great apes (chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and bonobo, many of which are endangered in the wild), the proteins would be able to bind together just as strongly as they do when the virus infects…
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