The world is currently struggling to fight the coronavirus or COVID-19 as more than 24.4 million people globally. Now, a new study by government scientists in Germany has stated that cattle may be able to catch the coronavirus and it can turn out to be a new threat to the worldwide fight against the pandemic.

Researchers art the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health inoculated six cattle with the Sars-CoV-2. Two of the animals including a calf tested positive after nose swabs were collected a couple of days later. T see if the virus had entered and reproduced in the bovine bodies, Professor Martin Beer and colleagues studied the blood samples and detected the presence of antibodies specific to the deadly virus.

"This worldwide-first experimental study on cattle shows a low susceptibility to Sars-CoV-2 ... it cannot be ruled out that the pathogen may be able to adapt by mutation," the institute mentioned in a statement. A non-peer-reviewed paper has got posted in bioRxiv.org.

Can Cattle be a Source of the Virus?

Cows
Cows Wikimedia Commons

The deadly disease is mostly a human disease, but few animals can contract the virus. In previous studies, researchers have noticed animals getting infected. In places with the high number of cattle and high cases of the virus in humans like the US or South America, the close contact between the livestock and the infected animal owners or caretakers can result in the anthropo-zoonotic infections of the cattle, as written by the researchers.

However, the researchers mentioned that their discovery did not give any evidence that cattle or beef can be a relevant source of infection for humans. "Therefore, there is no immediate cause for concern, but we have to keep an eye on further developments," Beer mentioned in the statement.

Professor Yu Li, who is a researcher with the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China mentioned that the finding of the study was still preliminary and people do not need to worry about it while eating beef.

The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 24.4 million people globally and claimed the lives of 832,000 people worldwide in more than 170 nations.