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Sheep and Covid-19


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Susceptibility of sheep to experimental co-infection with the ancestral lineage of SARS-CoV-2 and its alpha variant

BioRxiv preprint 17 Nov 2021

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we performed in vitro and in vivo studies which consisted of infection of ruminant-derived cell cultures and experimental challenge of sheep to investigate their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2.

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experimental challenge of sheep demonstrated limited infection with viral RNA shed in nasal and oral swabs primarily at 1-day post challenge (DPC), and also detected in the respiratory tract and lymphoid tissues at 4 and 8 DPC. Sero-reactivity was also observed in some of the principal infected sheep but not the contact sentinels, indicating that transmission to co-mingled naive sheep was not highly efficient

Sheep did become infected after a direct challenge of virus (Wuhan or Wuhan plus Alpha variants); however, the sheep not challenged with virus but house with the challenged sheep did not become infected. This was a very small study, only 10 sheep.

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My 'gain-of-function' crack was a little dig to some who disparage a lot of the science around this pandemic ;-) but I am somewhat concerned about zoonoses in general, given that dangerous-to-humans mutations can and do originate when viruses skip across species.

Have you come across any more research on dog-to-human (and vice versa) SARS Co-V-2 transmission?

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I’ve not seen and new studies in dogs.  The previously posted studies indicated dogs can be infected (from infected humans or in a small virus challenge study).  The dogs in the challenge study did not shed virus (were unlikely to transmit the virus to other dogs or humans).

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