Natural SARS-CoV-2 infections, including virus isolation, among serially tested cats and dogs in households with confirmed human COVID-19 cases in Texas, USA.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Sarah A HamerGabriel L Hamer

Abstract

The natural infections and epidemiological roles of household pets in SARS-CoV-2 transmission are not understood. We conducted a longitudinal study of dogs and cats living with at least one SARS-CoV-2 infected human in Texas and found 47.1% of 17 cats and 15.3% of 59 dogs from 25.6% of 39 households were positive for SARS-CoV-2 via RT-PCR and genome sequencing or neutralizing antibodies. Virus was isolated from one cat. The majority (82.4%) of infected pets were asymptomatic. Re-sampling of one infected cat showed persistence of viral RNA at least 32 d-post human diagnosis (25 d-post initial test). Across 15 antibody-positive animals, titers increased (33.3%), decreased (33.3%) or were stable (33.3%) over time. A One Health approach is informative for prevention and control of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

Methods Mentioned

BETA
PCR
serum collections
PCRs

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