Cats, dogs, ferrets and civets are most susceptible to COVID-19, a new research says

The findings come after a wild mink tested positive for COVID-19 in the US – the first coronavirus case detected in a wild animal. 

Monitoring COVID-19 cases in animals is important, as they can become reservoirs of the virus and cause it to mutate and make potential vaccines less effective.

The study, published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, used computer modelling to see how the virus’s spike protein invades the cells of animals and humans. 

It looked at 10 species in total, with humans, ferrets, cats, dogs and civets most susceptible to the new coronavirus. Mice, rats, chicken and ducks were found less prone to a COVD-19 infection. 

The researchers also found that different variants of ACE-2 in humans – the receptor which binds with the spike protein – could affect the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. 

Find out more about COVID-19 and animals here.