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SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance between 2020 and 2021 of All Mammalian Species in Two Flemish Zoos (Antwerp Zoo and Planckendael Zoo)

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of human infections and deaths worldwide. Several other mammal species are also susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, and multiple instances of transmission from humans to pets, farmed mink, wildlife and zoo animals have been recorded. We conducted a systematic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in all mammal species in two zoos in Belgium between September and December 2020 and July 2021, in four sessions, and a targeted surveillance of selected mammal enclosures following SARS-CoV-2 infection in hippopotamuses in December 2021. A total of 1523 faecal samples from 103 mammal species were tested for SARS-CoV-2 via real-time PCR. None of the samples tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Additional surrogate virus neutralisation tests conducted on 50 routinely collected serum samples from 26 mammal species were all negative. This study is the first to our knowledge to conduct active SARS-CoV-2 surveillance for several months in all mammal species of a zoo. We conclude that at the time of our investigation, none of the screened animals were excreting SARS-CoV-2.
Tijdschrift: Veterinary Sciences
Volume: 10
Jaar van publicatie:2023
Trefwoorden:SARS-CoV-2, surveillance, zoo, mammals, Belgium