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EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307782


Transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from people to companion animals has been reported globally. Between March 2020 and January 2021, the United States reported 94 companion animals with SARS-CoV-2. While most animals with SARS-CoV-2 have mild illness, 10 animals (5 dogs, 5 cats) died around the time of SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. In one dog, histopathologic changes suggest SARS-CoV-2 exacerbated a severe chronic respiratory disease and contributed to death. In one cat, SARS-CoV-2 was associated with histopathologic changes suggesting the virus caused clinical signs that resulted in euthanasia. In the remaining eight animals, SARS-CoV-2 infection was an incidental finding (4 dogs, 4 cats). This report provides evidence that in rare circumstances, SARS-CoV-2 can contribute to or cause death in companion animals with underlying conditions.

Vet Med Sci ; 8(2): 899-906, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568328


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), besides causing human infection, has been shown to naturally infect several susceptible animal species including large cats (tigers, lions, pumas, spotted leopards), dogs, cats, ferrets, gorillas and minks. Cats and minks are continuing to be the most reported species with SARS-CoV-2 infections among animals but it needs to be investigated further. METHODS AND RESULTS: We report the detection of SARS-CoV-2 from a domestic cat that exhibited respiratory disease after being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 virus from humans in the same household. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in two oropharyngeal swabs collected at two time points, 11 days apart; the first, when the cat was reported to be sick and the second, before euthanasia due to poor prognosis. The viral nucleic acid detected at two time points showed no genomic variation and resembled the clade GH circulating in humans in the United States. Clinical and pathological findings noted in this 16-year-old cat were consistent with respiratory and cardiac insufficiency. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 viral infection was likely an incidental clinical finding, as the virus was not detected in fixed lungs, heart, or kidney tissues. Only fresh lung tissue collected at necropsy showed the presence of viral nucleic acid, albeit at a very low level. Further research is needed to clarify the clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 in companion animals of advanced age and underlying cardiac disease.

COVID-19 , Cat Diseases , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/diagnosis , Cat Diseases/epidemiology , Cats , Humans , Pennsylvania/epidemiology , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
J Am Vet Med Assoc ; 259(9): 1032-1039, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468297


OBJECTIVE: To establish a pathoepidemiological model to evaluate the role of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first 10 companion animals that died while infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the US. ANIMALS: 10 cats and dogs that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and died or were euthanized in the US between March 2020 and January 2021. PROCEDURES: A standardized algorithm was developed to direct case investigations, determine the necessity of certain diagnostic procedures, and evaluate the role, if any, that SARS-CoV-2 infection played in the animals' course of disease and death. Using clinical and diagnostic information collected by state animal health officials, state public health veterinarians, and other state and local partners, this algorithm was applied to each animal case. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 was an incidental finding in 8 animals, was suspected to have contributed to the severity of clinical signs leading to euthanasia in 1 dog, and was the primary reason for death for 1 cat. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This report provides the global community with a standardized process for directing case investigations, determining the necessity of certain diagnostic procedures, and determining the clinical significance of SARS-CoV-2 infections in animals with fatal outcomes and provides evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can, in rare circumstances, cause or contribute to death in pets.

COVID-19 , Cat Diseases , Dog Diseases , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/diagnosis , Cat Diseases/epidemiology , Cats , Dog Diseases/diagnosis , Dog Diseases/epidemiology , Dogs , Pets , SARS-CoV-2