A pre- and during Pandemic Survey of Sars-Cov-2 Infection in Stray Colony and Shelter Cats from a High Endemic Area of Northern Italy.

Eva SpadaDaniela Proverbio


Cats are susceptible to infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Whilst a number of studies have been performed worldwide on owned cats, limited data are available on stray, colony or shelter cats. We investigated SARS-CoV-2 infection in a stray cat population before and during human outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 in cities in the Lombardy region in northern Italy, a high endemic region for SARS-CoV-2, using serological and molecular methods. A cohort of different samples were collected from 241 cats, including frozen archived serum samples from 136 cats collected before the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and serum, pharyngeal and rectal swab samples from 105 cats collected during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. All pre-pandemic samples tested seronegative for antibodies against the nucleocapsid of SARS-CoV-2 using indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test, while one serum sample collected during the pandemic was seropositive. No serological cross-reactivity was detected between SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and antibodies against feline enteric (FECV) and infectious peritonitis coronavirus (FIPC), Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Feline Calicivirus (FCV), Feline Herpesvirus-1 (FHV-...Continue Reading


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