Exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the endangered Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus).

Publication date: Mar 01, 2024

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging zoonotic virus of public and animal health concern, of which felids have been suggested as potential reservoirs. Although SARS-CoV-2 exposure has been detected in domestic and wild captive animals belonging to Felidae family, surveillance has not been carried out in free-ranging wild felids so far. The aim of the present study was to assess SARS-CoV-2 exposure in the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), the most endangered felid in the world. Between 2019 and 2022, we conducted a seroepidemiological study of SARS-CoV-2 in 276 free-ranging and captive Iberian lynxes. Our results evidenced limited (0. 4%; 95%CI: 0. 0-1. 1) but not negligible exposure to this emerging virus in this endangered felid species, increasing the SARS-CoV-2 host range. The circulation of this virus in wildlife evidences the need of integrated European wildlife monitoring.

Concepts Keywords
Coronavirus Animal health
Endangered Animals
Host Animals, Wild
Lynxes COVID-19
Emerging zoonoses
Endangered Species
Iberian lynx


Type Source Name
disease VO Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
disease IDO host
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH zoonoses

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