Article CC BY 4.0

SARS-CoV-2 and West Nile Virus Prevalence Studies in Raccoons and Raccoon Dogs from Germany

Unlike farm animals, wild animals are not subject to continuous health surveillance. Individual projects designed to screen wildlife populations for specific pathogens are, therefore, also of great importance for human health. In this context, the possible formation of a reservoir for highly pathogenic zoonotic pathogens is a focus of research. Two of these pathogens that have received particular attention during the last years are the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), due to its fast global spread and high impact to the human health, and, since its introduction into Germany, the flavivirus West Nile virus (WNV). Especially in combination with invasive vertebrate species (e.g., raccoons (Procyon lotor) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in Germany), risk analysis must be done to enable health authorities to assess the potential for the establishment of new wild life reservoirs for pathogens. Therefore, samples were collected from raccoons and raccoon dogs and analyzed for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and WNV infections in these populations. Molecular biological and serological data obtained imply that no SARS-CoV-2 nor WNV reservoir has been established in these two wild life species yet. Future investigations need to keep an eye on these invasive carnivore populations, especially since the close contact of these animals to humans, mainly in urban areas, would make animal–human transmission a challenge for human health.

Referenced by


Citation style:
Could not load citation form.

Access Statistic

Last 12 Month:


Use and reproduction: