Guidelines for COVID-19 Testing in Zoos and Captive Wildlife



oi-Madhuri Adnal


Posted: Monday June 21, 2021 05:38 PM [IST]

Google One News India

Hyderabad, June 21: The Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) at the CSIR-Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad has issued guidelines for COVID-19 testing on captive animals.

Guidelines for COVID-19 Testing in Zoos and Captive Wildlife

LaCONES is one of four centers designated to test animal samples for possible coronavirus infection, a CCMB press release said on Monday.

The guidelines provide detailed protocols that include images and frequently asked questions for easier understanding by those collecting samples for COVID testing in wildlife, said Vinay K Nandicoori, director of CSIR-CCMB. LaCONES began testing animal samples for possible infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in August 2020.

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Scientists found the first positive samples from Asiatic lions in Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad in April 2021.

Around this time, the LaCONES team attempted to test for the coronavirus using different types of nasal, oropharyngeal, rectal, and fecal samples from animals. LaCONES routinely tests wild animal samples using DNA-based molecular biology tools to resolve wildlife cases.

These tests are similar to those used for coronavirus tests. We hope that our recommendations will help zoo staff to collect and package samples appropriately before sending them to animal testing centers, make the process easier for zoos as well as testing centers.

Considering how difficult it is to get animal samples, it’s all the more important that we do most of the samples we get, said Karthikeyan Vasudevan, Scientist in Charge, LaCONES, CSIR-CCMB.

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Article first published: Monday June 21, 2021, 5:38 PM [IST]

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