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Susceptibility of swine cells and domestic pigs to SARS-CoV-2

By David A Meekins, Igor Morozov, Jessie D Trujillo, Natasha N Gaudreault, Dashzeveg Bold, Bianca L Artiaga, Sabarish V Indran, Taeyong Kwon, Velmurugan Balaraman, Daniel W Madden, Heinz Feldmann, Jamie Henningson, Wenjun Ma, Udeni BR Balasuriya, Juergen A. Richt

Posted 16 Aug 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.15.252395 (published DOI: 10.1080/22221751.2020.1831405)

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in an ongoing global pandemic with significant morbidity, mortality, and economic consequences. The susceptibility of different animal species to SARS-CoV-2 is of concern due to the potential for interspecies transmission, and the requirement for pre-clinical animal models to develop effective countermeasures. In the current study, we determined the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to (i) replicate in porcine cell lines, (ii) establish infection in domestic pigs via experimental oral/intranasal/intratracheal inoculation, and (iii) transmit to co-housed naive sentinel pigs. SARS-CoV-2 was able to replicate in two different porcine cell lines with cytopathic effects. Interestingly, none of the SARS-CoV-2-inoculated pigs showed evidence of clinical signs, viral replication or SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses. Moreover, none of the sentinel pigs displayed markers of SARS-CoV-2 infection. These data indicate that although different porcine cell lines are permissive to SARS-CoV-2, five-week old pigs are not susceptible to infection via oral/intranasal/intratracheal challenge. Pigs are therefore unlikely to be significant carriers of SARS-CoV-2 and are not a suitable pre-clinical animal model to study SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis or efficacy of respective vaccines or therapeutics. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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