Tissue distribution of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in wild animals with a focus on artiodactyls, mustelids and phocids.

Lean, Fabian ZX, Cox, Ruth, Madslien, Knut, Spiro, Simon, Nymo, Ingebjørg Helena, Bröjer, Caroline, Neimanis, Aleksija, Lawson, Becki, Holmes, Paul, Man, Catherine
et al (show 10 more authors) (2023) Tissue distribution of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in wild animals with a focus on artiodactyls, mustelids and phocids. One health (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 16. 100492-.

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Natural cases of zooanthroponotic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to animals have been reported during the COVID-19 pandemic, including to free-ranging white-tailed deer (<i>Odocoileus virginianus</i>) in North America and farmed American mink (<i>Neovison vison</i>) on multiple continents. To understand the potential for angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-mediated viral tropism we characterised the distribution of ACE2 receptors in the respiratory and intestinal tissues of a selection of wild and semi-domesticated mammals including artiodactyls (cervids, bovids, camelids, suids and hippopotamus), mustelid and phocid species using immunohistochemistry. Expression of the ACE2 receptor was detected in the bronchial or bronchiolar epithelium of several European and Asiatic deer species, Bactrian camel (<i>Camelus bactrianus</i>), European badger (<i>Meles meles</i>), stoat (<i>Mustela erminea</i>), hippopotamus (<i>Hippopotamus amphibious</i>), harbor seal (<i>Phoca vitulina</i>), and hooded seal (<i>Cystophora cristata</i>). Further receptor mapping in the nasal turbinates and trachea revealed sparse ACE2 receptor expression in the mucosal epithelial cells and occasional occurrence in the submucosal glandular epithelium of Western roe deer (<i>Capreolus capreolus</i>), moose (<i>Alces alces alces</i>), and alpaca (<i>Vicunga pacos</i>). Only the European badger and stoat expressed high levels of ACE2 receptor in the nasal mucosal epithelium, which could suggest high susceptibility to ACE2-mediated respiratory infection. Expression of ACE2 receptor in the intestinal cells was ubiquitous across multiple taxa examined. Our results demonstrate the potential for ACE2-mediated viral infection in a selection of wild mammals and highlight the intra-taxon variability of ACE2 receptor expression, which might influence host susceptibility and infection.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ACE2, Intestinal tract, Mustelid, Phocid, Respiratory tract, Ungulate, Wildlife
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 04 May 2023 14:38
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2024 03:29
DOI: 10.1016/j.onehlt.2023.100492
Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.onehlt.2023.100492
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3170177