Tamil Nadu

Delta variants found in four samples from lions

Genome sequencing of four samples lifted from lions at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur revealed that they were all affected by delta variants.

Two lions have died of COVID-19 at the zoo this month.

The zoo administration had sent the samples of 11 lions housed in the park for testing for SARS CoV-2 to the ICAR-National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal.

Initially, the samples of nine lions returned positive for SARS CoV-2 and the animals have been under active treatment since then.

The zoo authorities requested the institute to share the results of genome sequencing of the SARS CoV-2 virus that had infected the lions, a press release from the zoo administration read.

In this context, the ICAR-NIHSAD director has now informed the zoo that the genome sequencing of four samples showed that all four sequences belonged to the Pangolin lineage, B.1.617.2, and were delta variants, as per the WHO nomenclature.

The zoo authorities said a team of veterinarians was working day and night to treat the infected animals and to keep other animals free from the infection.

Through the day, the veterinarians don PPE suits and work to treat the lions, they said.

Treating the lions is not easy, and the veterinarians and the animal keepers have forgotten their families and are spending all their time at the zoo, keeping the lions and other animals safe and alive, said a zoo official.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 3:41:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/delta-variants-found-in-four-samples-from-lions/article34853990.ece

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