The pandemic has struck human fraternity and has put lives at stake. While more and more humans are dying of Covid 19, yet reports reveal that not only humans, it could affect other animals like cats, Ferrets, Western lowland gorilla, Sumatran orangutan, and Northern white-cheeked gibbon.
Researchers suspected in the earlier stages that the virus originated in a wild creature such as a bat. However there has been no circumstantial evidence to prove that the animals are passing it from one to another. They stress that humans make most vulnerable victims to the virus.
To infect a cell, a virus must first break in. This encounter typically requires the pathogen to fit itself into a specific molecule, called a receptor, on the surface of its target cell. It is a bit like a key opening a lock. Not all viral keys will work on a given cell’s lock, but the better the fit, the more easily the virus can gain access.
There is likeliness that the virus makes a home in on a cellular lock called ACE2—a blood pressure-regulating protein. It is perceived that it can originate in vertebrates, the group that includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. According to a famous and well renowned scientist, zoologist and microbiology at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Jim Wellehan, the virus can be found in reptiles amphibians and fish.
In 2002, SARS-CoV-1—a similar coronavirus entered the cells of sick humans into domestic felines. In March this year, a cat in Belgium and another in Hong Kong, each under the care of owners who fell ill with COVID-19.
However according to the large surveys which had taken place in Hong Kong, the United States and South Korea are of the view that thousands of pet cats, horses, and dogs had been tested negative.
There is also no evidence that animals like infected cats can shuttle the virus into humans. Most of the researchers behind the new Science study noted that cat-to-cat transmission was possible in confined laboratory spaces. These artificial settings are poor proxies for the natural world.
Not only humans are the only species to be a potential threat to Covid 19. According to a new study it states that several critically endangered primates such as the Western lowland gorilla, Sumatran orangutan, and Northern white-cheeked gibbon are susceptible to infection with the virus.
According to the study, published in the journal PNAS, ACE2 is normally found in diverse types of cells and tissues, including the cells lining the outer layer of the nose, mouth, and lungs. Using this model, the researchers evaluated how many of the 25 amino acids are found in the ACE2 protein of the distinct species.
Thus, this proves that animals can also be vulnerable to Covid 19.