German researchers had reported about it and now trials in China show a similar pattern: pigs are not susceptible for SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of Covid-19.

The peer reviewed journal Science recently published a report written by 21 Chinese authors, attached to the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, part of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the National High Containment Laboratory for Animal Diseases Control and Prevention in Harbin.

The team tested a range of animals to the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and concluded that “it replicates poorly in dogs, pigs, chickens and ducks”. Ferrets and cats, the research said, are permissive to infection.

Trials on 5 pigs and chickens

In the article, the Chinese described how they followed a similar approach for dogs, pigs, chickens and ducks. Every time, they placed 5 animals in one group, inoculated a number of the animals with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and then took several swabs on various days post-infection of all the animals to see whether or not the virus had spread.

With regard to pigs, chickens and ducks, the researchers wrote: “Viral RNA was not detected in any swabs collected from these virus-inoculated animals or from naïve contact animals, and all of the animals were seronegative for SARS-CoV-2 when tested by using the ELISA with sera collected on day 14 post-inoculation. These results indicate that pigs, chickens, and ducks are not susceptible to SARS-CoV-2.”

The researchers concluded their study saying that it provides important insights into the animal models for SARS-CoV-2 and animal management for Covid-19 control.

German study by Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut

The earlier German study, also confirming that pigs and chickens are not susceptible for SARS-CoV-2, was carried out by the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut.

PigProgress | Vincent ter Beek |