COVID-19 and Livestock: The Present and Future

SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, originated from wild animals in China and is highly mutagenic, contagious in nature, having ability to infect and spread efficiently among humans. Some coronaviruses cause cold-like symptoms in people, while others cause illness in animals such as cattle, camels, and bats. A few animals that are living with COVID-19 patients like dogs and cats have tested positive for the presence of virus. The COVID-19 outbreak once again proves the potential of the animal-human interface as the primary source of emerging zoonotic diseases. However, at this time there is no substantial evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 therefore the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considerably low. This virus has 4 genus: alpha, beta, gamma and delta coronavirus and various human affections are caused by alpha & beta strains like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), middle-east respiratory syndrome (MERS) & COVID-19. Pigs are primarily affected by alpha and delta strains; poultry by gamma strains of coronavirus whereas bovines are affected by beta strains. Bats are reservoir of alpha & beta virus whereas birds act as reservoir of gamma & delta coronavirus.

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1 Research Fellow, Livestock Production & Management, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, GBPUAT, Pantnagar.

2 PhD Scholar, Pharmacology Department, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, GBPUAT, Pantnagar.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Physiology, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences [MAFSU], Parbhani.

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