As we know, Covid-19 and viruses in general are also transmitted to animals. We saw it in particular when many mink had to be slaughtered after the Covid was detected among certain farms. But if the presence of dangerous pathogens in certain species raises questions, it can especially be dangerous if the animal becomes a reservoir of the virus which can have dramatic consequences once transmitted to humans.

Rodents could in particular pose a threat. This is what suggests a comparative genomic study conducted by Sean King and Mona Singh, two researchers in molecular biology and integrative genomics, published on November 19 and relayed by Slate .

Asymptomatic carrier rats and mice?

This scientific publication shows that during their evolution, rodents could have been regularly exposed to coronaviruses during their evolution. This prolonged exposure would have allowed an increased resistance of their organism to viruses – they could therefore be overwhelmingly carriers of Covid-19 while remaining asymptomatic.

ACE2 receivers under the microscope

To reach this conclusion, the researchers analyzed the receptors (ACE2) to which the coronavirus clings to infect individuals. Contained in the cells of different mammals, the more stable these receptacles, the easier it is for the virus to cling to them.

And by comparing receptors in humans to those in rodents, the research duo found that those in rodents benefited from greater diversity and faster evolution, which would protect them from infection but not from carrying the virus. and pass it on.


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