Since the advent of coronavirus infection in China, scientists have been trying to determine how the infection was transmitted from animals to humans and whether this can happen again. Researchers are wondering what kinds of animals can prolong a pandemic that kills tens of thousands of people around the world. They compiled a chain of events when a bat virus could be transmitted to humans.
The second alleged source of the disease could be pangolin. But it is possible that there may be more such sources. Today, scientists concluded that stray dogs could be the cause of the ongoing pandemic in China. The virus uses its intestines as a vehicle, moving from one place to another.
As a rule, these are ordinary dogs that have not undergone sterilization and medical treatment. University of Ottawa's biology professor Shuhua Xia believes this is just an observation based hypothesis: the coronavirus could be transmitted from a bat to stray dogs and they spread it among people.
Shuhua Xia studied the molecular signatures of viruses in different animal species that could become carriers of infection. When viruses invade a living creature, their genomes often acquire “battle scars” from fighting infection and the actions of the immune system. But viruses can strike back, making the immune defence of a mammalian organism powerless.
The sequence of this chain is traced in the body of the bat and therefore it was recognized as a possible primary source of the spread of the virus in Wuhan. But at that moment, scientists did not attach importance to the fact that the virus developed not only in the body of a bat, but could also be in the body of other mammals.
A study of the genomic structure of the dog and coronavirus in their body shows that the virus is concentrated in the digestive system and remains in the intestines of the dog. This suggests that stray dogs may be at risk in an ongoing pandemic.