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Raccoon dogs may be potential intermediate host in Covid transmission: Study

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A new study conducted by the scientists at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Germany, noted that raccoon dogs were a potential intermediate host in the transmission of the coronavirus.The paper’s pre

A new study conducted by the scientists at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Germany, noted that raccoon dogs were a potential intermediate host in the transmission of the coronavirus.

The paper’s preprint version was published on the bioRxiv.

The study revealed that animals that were intranasally inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 quickly became infected and went on to transmit the virus to other direct-contact animals.

Thomas Mettenleiter, the lead author of the study, and his colleagues stated in their research: “With China’s substantial contribution to the global fur production of over 50 million animals per annum, it is conceivable that raccoon dogs may have played a hitherto unexplored role in the development of the pandemic.”

The findings supported the implementation of adequate surveillance and risk mitigation strategies for both farmed and wild raccoon dogs, the authors added.

Scientists speculated that Covid-19 has been transmitted through bats. However, whether the virus got directly transmitted to humans or not still remains unclear.

“Increasing evidence supports the potential of several carnivore species to become infected by SARS-CoV-2 as a result of anthropo-zoonotic transmission, possibly leading to re-infections of humans,” said Mettenleiter and team.

Natural SARS-CoV-1 infection of raccoon dogs has been documented, suggesting the animals’ potential involvement in the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak. While some studies revealed that in raccoon dogs, the host…

Prashasti Awasthi

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