The novel coronavirus SARS-COV-2, which causes Covid-19, is zoonotic — meaning it can infect and be transmitted by animals.
In a new study, scientists pin-pointed animals that are at a higher or lower risk of becoming infected.
The team accomplished this by studying a particular enzyme carried by the animals (and us), called ACE2.
ACE2 is normally used by our body to regulate things like inflammation, blood pressure, and wound-healing. The grooves in its protein structure allow it to capture harmful proteins.
However, the coronavirus’s spikey exterior fits right into ACE-2’s grooves, allowing it to invade our bodies.
The scientists analyzed the ACE2 enzyme of 410 vertebrate animals, including 252 mammal species (plus a smattering of birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish).
Here are two animals from each category: very high risk, high risk, medium risk, low risk, and very low risk.
Very high risk
Western Lowland Gorilla
White Tailed Deer
Very low risk
Read a more extensive list here.