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Video: Could Stray Dogs Be The Source Of SARS-CoV-2?
Could stray dogs be the source of SARS-CoV-2?
Such conclusions were made by a researcher from Canada, but his opinion was harshly criticized by the Western scientific community.
Stray dogs could be the source of the new coronavirus infection, says Xuhua Xia, professor of biology at Ottawa University. The scientist published the results of his research in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.
In his work, Xia focused on researching part of the coronavirus genome - CpG and a protein in the animal immune system ZAP, which helps protect us from viruses. The scientist suggested that the new coronavirus evolved by dodging the human protective protein ZAP, which protects our bodies from viruses, by reducing genomic CpG. Of the thousands of genomes analyzed, the dog's gut was the best host for replication.
“Our observations allowed us to form a new hypothesis about the origin and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans. The ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and its closest relative, the bat coronavirus, infected the intestines of dogs, possibly contributing to the rapid evolution of the virus in dogs and its transmission to humans. This demonstrates the importance of monitoring atypical coronaviruses in feral dogs in the fight against SARS-CoV-2,”said Xia.
According to the scientist, the pathogen could get from a dog to a person in different ways - from direct contact with an animal infected with a pulmonary form of the disease, to eating dog meat.
The scientific community greeted the study with great distrust and even outrage. Thus, the head of the department of veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge in the UK, Professor James Wood pointed out that the hypothesis of the Canadian scientist is based on computer analysis of the genome of various types of coronaviruses, but it is not proven by facts.
“I see nothing in this article that would support this hypothesis, and I am concerned that this article was published in this journal. Too many conclusions and too little direct evidence,”Wood said.
“Should we be worried about whether we can get the coronavirus from our dogs or pass it on to our dogs? The answer to both of these questions is no,”said William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Experts emphasize that today there is no real evidence of canine-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV2. In contrast, a recent study in animals found that the virus reproduces very poorly in their bodies.
In an interview with Medportal, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor at the GMU School of Systems Biology (USA) Ancha Baranova confirmed that pets cannot transmit coronavirus to humans, but dogs can bring infection from the street.
According to her, unlike cats, which can become infected from humans and transmit the infection to another cat, dogs do not get sick with COVID-19, the virus does not multiply in their tissues, but can persist in the mouth and intestines.
“Dogs are very curious, so if you go for a walk for the fourth time in a day and she sticks her nose in a napkin used by an infected person, she may very well bring the infection to your home. Please keep an eye on your four-legged friends while walking and do not let them off the leash,”said the biologist.
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