NIFA-Funded Study Detects Omicron Variant in White-Tailed Deer


Posted by John Martins, Senior Public Affairs Specialist in

Animals
Research and Science

Apr 11, 2022

A white-tailed deer

Scientists finding out the unfold of coronavirus in white-tailed deer have detected the presence of the omicron variant, confirming for researchers that animals ought to proceed being monitored for the virus.

In a research funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), investigators at Pennsylvania State University discovered the variant in the nasal swabs of seven deer in Staten Island. The swabs have been examined between December 13, 2021, and Jan. 31, 2022.

Penn State virology professor Suresh Kuchipudi, who’s main the analysis crew, famous the variant’s spillover into deer signifies the virus might evolve undetected in animal hosts. However, it’s not stunning to discover a variant in an animal species, as a number of animal species have been confirmed with variants as early as March 2021, and it’s anticipated to see the identical variants in animals which can be circulating in individuals.

“It is critical to continuously monitor transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in deer and other animals to limit the emergence of novel variants in animal populations,” stated Kuchipudi.

This analysis is an element of a bigger USDA effort to watch the virus’s development in animal populations. Under USDA’s One Health initiative, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has developed a strategic framework to information surveillance of the virus and construct an early warning system to alert public well being companions to potential threats.

Kuchipudi’s research is one in all 15 that NIFA-funded for its COVID-19 Rapid Response Research program, which carried out an expedited solicitation, analysis and grant-making course of to shortly deploy funding. It was the primary research to be funded in early July 2020, solely 81 days after this system was first introduced in April.

Since launching the COVID-19 Rapid Response Research program, NIFA has allotted greater than $12.5 million in research specializing in the pandemic’s impression on the meals and agriculture provide chain, livestock well being, meals security, and the well-being of farm and meals service suppliers and rural Americans.

Early outcomes from NIFA’s COVID-19 Rapid Response funding embrace creating coaching assets and creating illness unfold fashions.

Category/Topic:
Animals
Research and Science

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