Apr 30, 2020

Susceptibility of tree shrew to SARS-CoV-2 infection

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Y. ZhaoX. Peng


Since SARS-CoV-2 became a pandemic event in the world, it has not only caused huge economic losses, but also a serious threat to global public health. Many scientific questions about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 were raised and urgently need to be answered, including the susceptibility of animals to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here we tested whether tree shrew, an emerging experimental animal domesticated from wild animal, is susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. No clinical signs were observed in SARS-CoV-2 inoculated tree shrews during this experiment except the increasing body temperature (above 39 ) particular in female animals during infection. Low levels of virus shedding and replication in tissues occurred in all three age groups, each of which showed his own characteristics. Histopathological examine revealed that pulmonary abnormalities were mild but the main changes although slight lesions were also observed in other tissues. In summary, tree shrew is not susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and may not be a suitable animal for COVID-19 related researches. Key words SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; tree shrew; Tupaia; susceptibility; animal model

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