SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been found in dogs, cats, some zoo animals and minks and, now, white-tailed deer in the U.S.
In a study published on a preprint server, researchers said they found results “consistent with a model of multiple independent human-to-deer transmission events and deer-to-deer transmission.”
The research team used 283 samples that came from deer harvested in Iowa between September 2020 and December 2020 to determine positivity for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Overall, 94 samples were found positive for the virus.
The authors noted that their research is important because it has “implications for the natural ecology and long-term persistence of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, including spillover to other free-living or captive animals potential for spillback to human hosts … Our results highlight an urgent need for the continued need for surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in deer and other susceptible and wild peridomestic mammals.”
SOURCE: bioRxiv November 1, 2021