The coronavirus, which has spread so rapidly across the planet, is dangerous not only for people, but also for our smaller brothers. Scientists, after examining it, reported that 410 animal species could potentially get sick with COVID-19. The danger of coronavirus is not the same for them and depends on how close the animal’s angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE2) is similar to humans.
The results of a study by scientists from the University of California and a number of other scientific centers take into account the information collected on the amino acid sequences of ACE2 in more than four hundred vertebrate species. According to the level of similarity with human parameters, all animals from this group were divided into five categories. The first, for which there is a maximum risk of infection with coronavirus, included hominids and narrow-nosed monkeys of 18 species.
The second category is slightly larger and contains 28 species. In addition to 12 species of dolphins and whales, 7 species of rodents, deer and lemurs, it also included such animals as the tamandua and the giant anteater. The domestic cat and the Siberian tiger were included in the category with an average risk of incidence of coronavirus. It also includes 21 artiodactyls, hares and some species of primates and rodents.
Among the animal world there are also those of its representatives who are not afraid of COVID-19. The chances of becoming infected are extremely low in reptiles, birds and domestic mice, sea lion and kangaroo. African elephants, pigs, horses and dogs are slightly more likely to become infected. The knowledge gained can be important for understanding how the coronavirus can spread around the world without human intervention.