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Scientists explain why some animals are immune to coronavirus

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Some species of animals – pigs, rats, birds – are less susceptible or even immune to coronavirus.

A group of scientists from Stanford University claim that due to the differences in the cellular structure of pigs, rats and birds are practically not susceptible to infection.

This results of the study were published in PLOS Computational Biology.

Coronavirus enters human cells through ACE2 receptors. After studying the 28 animal species with which humans most often come into contact, the researchers found similar receptors.

Moreover, in different species, these receptors are very similar, but their molecular structure is still slightly different. Most similar to human receptors in chimpanzees (99.5% similarity), and least similar to goldfish (72%).

Computer analysis of these receptors revealed mutations that prevent the formation of a link with the “spike” protein of the virus and, accordingly, the penetration of infection into the cell.

Scientists do not rule out further mutations of coronavirus and the emergence of such strains, which can infect even those species of animals that have immunity.

Study lead Dr. Joao Rodrigues urged infected people to follow the guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health and limit contact with their pets, wild animals and livestock, otherwise, the coronavirus pandemic could become interspecific, leading to the extinction of many endangered animal species.

Prior to this, a team of scientists claimed to have found a drug that quickly blocks the transmission of COVID. The antiviral drug MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 or Molnupiravir prevents the coronavirus from progressing to severe disease.

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