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COVID-19: British government scientists examine whether rats can infect humans, official documents reveal | UK News

British scientists have investigated whether rats can infect humans with coronavirus – and whether the disease can mutate in wild rodents before it is transmitted to humans.

Researchers say laboratory evidence indicates that while rats and mice seem unable to contract the most common forms of COVID, the mutation of the spike protein N501Y found in several variants relating to “has increased affinity” for rodents.

A report released by the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) also found that the likelihood that a variant of concern (VOC) that has appeared in humans could infect a rodent and then spread among animals is high.

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COVID variants “ high on our concerns ”

But he concluded that the risks of coronavirus adaptation in rodents to create a disturbing new strain was weak – and that any adaptation to rodent hosts would make it less transmissible in humans.

The report states: “There is a plausible pathway for rodent infection with new variants of concern from humans infected as a result of environmental contamination.

“Experimental evidence has shown that SARS-CoV-2 with N501Y has an increased affinity for laboratory rodents and there is nothing to suggest that the same would not be true for wild rodents.

“While rodents are a possible animal reservoir, the likelihood of a VOC currently emerging as a result of adaptation in rodents is low, and certainly lower than in the human population, as it is expected that adaptation to rodent hosts reduces the ability of the virus to transmit to or between humans. “

The minutes of the last SAGE meeting show that 70% of the English population currently have their …

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This notice was published: 2021-04-23 13:10:00