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1.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 01 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715759

ABSTRACT

A 67-year-old male veterinarian presented with fatigue, anorexia, and diarrhea. Although there were no tick bite marks, we suspected severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) due to bicytopenia, mild disturbance of consciousness, and a history of outdoor activities. Thus, we started immunoglobulin therapy immediately. A serum reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for SFTS virus (SFTSV) was positive. The patient had treated a cat with thrombocytopenia 10 days prior to admission. The cat's serum SFTSV RT-PCR test result was positive, and the whole genome sequences of the patient's and cat's SFTSV were identical, suggesting the possibility of transmission from the cat to the patient. Other cases of direct cat-to-human SFTV transmission have been reported recently. Mucous membranes should be protected, including eye protection, in addition to standard precautions, when in contact with any cat with suspected SFTS.


Subject(s)
Cat Diseases/virology , Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome/transmission , Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome/virology , Aged , Animals , Cat Diseases/blood , Cats , DNA, Viral/blood , DNA, Viral/genetics , Humans , Male , Phlebovirus/classification , Phlebovirus/genetics , Phlebovirus/isolation & purification , Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome/blood , Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome/diagnosis , Veterinarians
2.
Res Vet Sci ; 143: 81-87, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586571

ABSTRACT

Since the initial emergence in December 2019, the novel Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been reported in over 200 countries, representing an unprecedented challenge related to disease control worldwide. In this context, cases of human to animal transmission have been reported, raising concern about the potential role of companion animals in the pandemic and stressing the need for reliable animal testing. In the study, a detailed epitope mapping of SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein, using both human and pet sera, allowed the identification of the most antigenic region in the C-terminus domain of the protein, which was used to develop an experimental double antigen-based ELISA. A panel of pre-pandemic sera and sera of animals immunized against (or naturally infected with) related coronaviruses was used to assess assay specificity at 99.5%. Positive sera belonging to animals housed with COVID-19 patients were confirmed with the experimental double-antigen ELISA using Plaque Reduction Neutralization test (PRNT) test as gold standard. The availability of a serological assay that targets a highly specific viral antigen represents a valuable tool for multispecies monitoring of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection in susceptible animals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cat Diseases , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Dog Diseases , Epitope Mapping , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/virology , Cats , Dog Diseases/virology , Dogs , Epitope Mapping/veterinary , Humans , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 68(6): 3070-3074, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526428

ABSTRACT

An 11-year-old male mixed-breed cat, with exclusively indoor life, presented 3 cough episodes after the owners tested positive by RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2. The house is inhabited by 5 people (3 adults and 2 children), and 2 of the adults have shown mild symptoms associated with throat discomfort. The cat was vaccinated, had no history of any previous disease, and tested negative for feline coronavirus (FCoV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV). Rectal sample collected from the cat was positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR. Viral genome sequences recovered from human and cat samples showed an average 99.4% sequence identity. This is the first report of genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 recovered from a cat and its owner in Latin America.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cat Diseases , Cats/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/virology , Humans , Immunodeficiency Virus, Feline , Latin America , Leukemia Virus, Feline , Male
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(19)2021 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444232

ABSTRACT

Natural or experimental infection of domestic cats and virus transmission from humans to captive predatory cats suggest that felids are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, it is unclear which cells and compartments of the respiratory tract are infected. To address this question, primary cell cultures derived from the nose, trachea, and lungs of cat and lion were inoculated with SARS-CoV-2. Strong viral replication was observed for nasal mucosa explants and tracheal air-liquid interface cultures, whereas replication in lung slices was less efficient. Infection was mainly restricted to epithelial cells and did not cause major pathological changes. Detection of high ACE2 levels in the nose and trachea but not lung further suggests that susceptibility of feline tissues to SARS-CoV-2 correlates with ACE2 expression. Collectively, this study demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 can efficiently replicate in the feline upper respiratory tract ex vivo and thus highlights the risk of SARS-CoV-2 spillover from humans to felids.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Cats/virology , Lions/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/analysis , Animals , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cat Diseases/transmission , Cat Diseases/virology , Cells, Cultured , Disease Susceptibility , Humans , Lung/cytology , Lung/virology , Nose/cytology , Nose/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Trachea/cytology , Trachea/virology
5.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390790

ABSTRACT

Despite the probable zoonotic origin of SARS-CoV-2, only limited research efforts have been made to understand the role of companion animals in SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology. According to recent serological prevalence studies, human-to-companion animal transmission is quite frequent, which led us to consider that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from animal to human, albeit negligible in the present context, may have been underestimated. In this study, we provide the results of a prospective survey that was conducted to evaluate the SARS-CoV-2 isolation rate by qRT-PCR in dogs and cats with different exposure risks and clinical statuses. From April 2020 to April 2021, we analyzed 367 samples and investigated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA using qRT-PCR. Only four animals tested positive, all of them being cats. Three cats were asymptomatic and one presented a coryza-like syndrome. We describe in detail the infection in two cats and the associated clinical characteristics. Importantly, we obtained SARS-CoV-2 genomes from one infected animal and characterized them as Alpha variants. This represents the first identification of the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant in an infected animal in France.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/virology , Dog Diseases/virology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cat Diseases/epidemiology , Cats , Dog Diseases/epidemiology , Dogs , France/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pets/virology , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/veterinary , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Virus Shedding
6.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(23): 710-713, 2020 Jun 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389844

ABSTRACT

On April 22, CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported cases of two domestic cats with confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These are the first reported companion animals (including pets and service animals) with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the United States, and among the first findings of SARS-CoV-2 symptomatic companion animals reported worldwide. These feline cases originated from separate households and were epidemiologically linked to suspected or confirmed human COVID-19 cases in their respective households. Notification of presumptive positive animal test results triggered a One Health* investigation by state and federal partners, who determined that no further transmission events to other animals or persons had occurred. Both cats fully recovered. Although there is currently no evidence that animals play a substantial role in spreading COVID-19, CDC advises persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to restrict contact with animals during their illness and to monitor any animals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and separate them from other persons and animals at home (1).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Cat Diseases/diagnosis , Cat Diseases/virology , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Pandemics/veterinary , Pets/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/veterinary , Animals , COVID-19 , Cats , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Female , Humans , Male , New York , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Zoonoses
8.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 1669-1674, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348039

ABSTRACT

To provide more complete data on SARS-CoV-2 infections in dogs and cats in the U.S., we conducted a serosurvey on convenience serum samples from dogs (n=1336) and cats (n=956) collected from 48 states of the USA in 2020. An ELISA targeting the antibody against nucleocapsid identified eleven positive and two doubtful samples in cats, and five positive and five doubtful samples in dogs. A surrogate neutralization assay detecting antibodies blocking the attachment of the spike protein to ACE2 was positive with three of the ELISA positive and doubtful samples, and one of 463 randomly selected ELISA negative samples. These four positive samples were confirmed by SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralization testing. All were from cats, in New York, Florida, and New Jersey (n=2). The serosurvey results, one of the largest yet completed on dogs and cats globally, support the OIE and CDC positions that currently there is no evidence that pets play a role in the spread of SARS CoV-2 in humans.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/epidemiology , Cat Diseases/immunology , Dog Diseases/epidemiology , Dog Diseases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Cat Diseases/virology , Cats , Dog Diseases/virology , Dogs , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Public Health Surveillance , Seroepidemiologic Studies , United States/epidemiology
9.
Aust Vet J ; 99(11): 482-488, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331723

ABSTRACT

A highly transmissible severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused the coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which resulted the highest morbidity and mortality rates among SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant indicated the higher transmission among human-to-human and increasing hospitalisation. SARS-CoV-2 infection was observed in domestic animals showing human-to-pet transmission. In the current study, we report the first direct known human-to-cat transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant within the same family. Previous findings showed that companion animals can get infected by COVID-19 patients after 3-6 weeks; however, according to our molecular findings, the cat was infected by the viral variant at the same period. Moreover, B.1.1.7 infection caused and developed several clinical symptoms including cardiac and ocular abnormalities. Overall, our findings determined the first direct and high transmission ability of the B.1.1.7 variant from COVID-19 affected family members to cat. This result showed that the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant could have the highest transition capacity from human to domestic cat as shown for human-to-human. The governmental or worldwide policies should consider more detailed against the war with COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cat Diseases , Cats/virology , Animals , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/transmission , Cat Diseases/virology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Vet Q ; 41(1): 228-231, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328885

ABSTRACT

Current evidence indicates that cats play a limited role in COVID-19 epidemiology, and pets are probably dead-end hosts of SARS-CoV-2 and pose negligible risks of transmission to humans. Still, one health concept is to be adopted widely as a component of mitigation strategies to tackle the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, in terms of the magnitude of infection and potential to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to humans, our surveillance efforts should mainly focus on mustelids (especially minks, ferrets, and others) for early detection and control of infection. This will ensure that SARS-CoV-2 will not get established in the wild animal population of these susceptible species. We agree with Dr. Passarella Teixeira on the possibility of domestic and feral cats acting as an urban reservoir, subsequently transmitting the virus to human beings. However, it is less likely that such a phenomenon will be reported even if it has occurred due to the efficient and extensive human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Animals, Domestic , Animals, Wild , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cat Diseases/transmission , Cats , Disease Reservoirs/veterinary
11.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325792

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has affected millions of people globally since its first detection in late 2019. Besides humans, cats and, to some extent, dogs were shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, highlighting the need for surveillance in a One Health context. Seven veterinary clinics from regions with high incidences of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were recruited during the early pandemic (March to July 2020) for the screening of patients. A total of 2257 oropharyngeal and nasal swab specimen from 877 dogs and 260 cats (including 18 animals from COVID-19-affected households and 92 animals with signs of respiratory disease) were analyzed for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA using reverse transcriptase real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) targeting the viral envelope (E) and RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) genes. One oropharyngeal swab from an Italian cat, living in a COVID-19-affected household in Piedmont, tested positive in RT-qPCR (1/260; 0.38%, 95% CI: 0.01-2.1%), and SARS-CoV-2 infection of the animal was serologically confirmed six months later. One oropharyngeal swab from a dog was potentially positive (1/877; 0.1%, 95% CI: 0.002-0.63%), but the result was not confirmed in a reference laboratory. Analyses of convenience sera from 118 animals identified one dog (1/94; 1.1%; 95% CI: 0.02-5.7%) from Lombardy, but no cats (0/24), as positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) antibodies and neutralizing activity. These findings support the hypothesis that the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pet cat and dog populations, and hence, the risk of zoonotic transmission to veterinary staff, was low during the first wave of the pandemic, even in hotspot areas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/virology , Dog Diseases/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cat Diseases/diagnosis , Cat Diseases/epidemiology , Cats , Dog Diseases/diagnosis , Dog Diseases/epidemiology , Dogs , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Oropharynx/virology , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
12.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314759

ABSTRACT

The epidemiological role of domestic animals in the spread and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans has been investigated in recent reports, but some aspects need to be further clarified. To date, only in rare cases have dogs and cats living with COVID-19 patients been found to harbour SARS-CoV-2, with no evidence of pet-to-human transmission. The aim of the present study was to verify whether dogs and cats act as passive mechanical carriers of SARS-CoV-2 when they live in close contact with COVID-19 patients. Cutaneous and interdigital swabs collected from 48 dogs and 15 cats owned by COVID-19 patients were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by qRT-PCR. The time elapsed between owner swab positivity and sample collection from pets ranged from 1 to 72 days, with a median time of 23 days for dogs and 39 days for cats. All samples tested negative, suggesting that pets do not passively carry SARS-CoV-2 on their hair and pads, and thus they likely do not play an important role in the virus transmission to humans. This data may contribute to confirming that the direct contact with the hair and pads of pets does not represent a route for the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/virology , Dog Diseases/virology , Hair/virology , Pets/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Skin/virology , Animals , COVID-19/transmission , Cat Diseases/transmission , Cats , Dog Diseases/transmission , Dogs , Humans
13.
Vet Microbiol ; 260: 109179, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1313479

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has rapidly spread worldwide. Studies of transmission of the virus carried out in animals have suggested that certain animals may be susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2. The aim of the present study was to investigate the infection of SARS-CoV-2 in pets (18 cats and 20 dogs) from owners previously confirmed as COVID-19-positive. Oropharyngeal and rectal swabs were taken and analyzed by real-time RT-PCR assays, while blood samples were taken for antibody detection. Of the total pets analyzed, one cat was found reactive to SARS-CoV-2 by real-time RT-PCR of an oropharyngeal and a rectal swab. This cat presented only sneezing as a clinical sign. Serological analysis confirmed the presence of antibodies in the serum sample from this cat, as well as in the serum from another cat non-reactive to real-time RT-PCR. Complete sequence and phylogenetic analysis allowed determining that the SARS-CoV-2 genome belonged to the B.1.499 lineage. This lineage has been reported in different provinces of Argentina, mainly in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires. This study notifies the first detection of the natural infection and molecular analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in a cat from Argentina whose owner where COVID-19-positive. Although there is currently no evidence that cats can spread COVID-19, results suggest that health authorities should test pets with COVID-19-positive owners.


Subject(s)
Cat Diseases/virology , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , Argentina , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/veterinary , Cat Diseases/diagnosis , Cats , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , DNA, Complementary/chemistry , Dogs , Female , Genome, Viral/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/veterinary , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/classification
14.
Viruses ; 13(6)2021 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286939

ABSTRACT

Feline panleukopenia is a severe disease of cats caused by feline parvovirus (FPV), and marginally canine parvovirus (CPV). Despite being less rapid than CPV, FPV evolution deserves attention, especially since outbreaks of particular severity are currently reported. This apparently different virulence needs monitoring from genetic and clinical points of view. This manuscript explored FPV molecular epidemiology at both Italian and international levels and the possible association between viral phylogeny and disease severity. Sequences from clinical cases of feline panleukopenia in Italy were obtained from 2011 to 2019, and the etiological agent was characterized, distinguishing FPV from CPV. Phylogenetic and phylodynamic analyses were conducted on Italian and international sequences. Moreover, the association between the viral sequence and clinical variables was evaluated on a group of highly characterized patients. After its origin in the 1920s, FPV showed a constant population size until a more recent expansion since 2000. Few long-distance introduction events characterized FPV spreading, however, most of its evolution occurred locally. Although without a strong statistical association, several clinical variables appeared influenced by viral phylogeny, suggesting a differential virulence potentially characterizing FPV strains. These results stress the importance of the continuous study of viral evolution and its repercussions on the disease clinical aspects.


Subject(s)
Cat Diseases/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Feline Panleukopenia Virus/classification , Feline Panleukopenia Virus/genetics , Feline Panleukopenia/epidemiology , Phylogeny , Animals , Cat Diseases/epidemiology , Cats , DNA, Viral/genetics , Dog Diseases/virology , Dogs , Feline Panleukopenia/virology , Italy/epidemiology , Parvovirus, Canine/genetics
15.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234836

ABSTRACT

Understanding the ecological and epidemiological roles of pets in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is critical for animal and human health, identifying household reservoirs, and predicting the potential enzootic maintenance of the virus. We conducted a longitudinal household transmission study of 76 dogs and cats living with at least one SARS-CoV-2-infected human in Texas and found that 17 pets from 25.6% of 39 households met the national case definition for SARS-CoV-2 infections in animals. This includes three out of seventeen (17.6%) cats and one out of fifty-nine (1.7%) dogs that were positive by RT-PCR and sequencing, with the virus successfully isolated from the respiratory swabs of one cat and one dog. Whole-genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 obtained from all four PCR-positive animals were unique variants grouping with genomes circulating among people with COVID-19 in Texas. Re-sampling showed persistence of viral RNA for at least 25 d-post initial test. Additionally, seven out of sixteen (43.8%) cats and seven out of fifty-nine (11.9%) dogs harbored SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies upon initial sampling, with relatively stable or increasing titers over the 2-3 months of follow-up and no evidence of seroreversion. The majority (82.4%) of infected pets were asymptomatic. 'Reverse zoonotic' transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from infected people to animals may occur more frequently than recognized.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/veterinary , Pets/virology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cat Diseases/epidemiology , Cat Diseases/immunology , Cat Diseases/virology , Cats/virology , Dog Diseases/epidemiology , Dog Diseases/immunology , Dog Diseases/virology , Dogs/virology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pets/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Texas/epidemiology
16.
Vet Rec ; 188(8): e247, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198417

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to find evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in UK cats. DESIGN: Tissue samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antigen using immunofluorescence and for viral RNA by in situ hybridisation. A set of 387 oropharyngeal swabs that had been submitted for routine respiratory pathogen testing was tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA using reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR. RESULTS: Lung tissue collected post-mortem from cat 1 tested positive for both SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen and RNA. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in an oropharyngeal swab collected from cat 2 that presented with rhinitis and conjunctivitis. High throughput sequencing of the viral genome revealed five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) compared to the nearest UK human SARS-CoV-2 sequence, and this human virus contained eight SNPs compared to the original Wuhan-Hu-1 reference sequence. An analysis of the viral genome of cat 2 together with nine other feline-derived SARS-CoV-2 sequences from around the world revealed no shared cat-specific mutations. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that human-to-cat transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, with the infected cats developing mild or severe respiratory disease. Given the ability of the new coronavirus to infect different species, it will be important to monitor for human-to-cat, cat-to-cat and cat-to-human transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/virology , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Zoonoses , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cats , Female , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United Kingdom/epidemiology
17.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1187062

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for COVID-19 and spread rapidly following its emergence in Wuhan in 2019. Although cats are, among other domestic animals, susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, little is known about their epidemiological role in the dynamics of a household infection. In this study, we monitored five cats for viral shedding daily. Each cat was confined with its COVID-19 positive owners in separate households. Low loads of viral nucleic acid were found in two cats, but only one developed anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which suggests that cats have a limited role in COVID-19 epidemiology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/transmission , Cat Diseases/virology , Animals , Animals, Domestic , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Cat Diseases/epidemiology , Cats , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Susceptibility , Humans , Male , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Zoonoses/epidemiology , Viral Zoonoses/transmission , Virus Shedding , Whole Genome Sequencing
18.
Viruses ; 13(3)2021 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154523

ABSTRACT

Since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic was first identified in early 2020, rare cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in pet cats have been reported worldwide. Some reports of cats with SARS-CoV-2 showed self-limiting respiratory or gastrointestinal disease after suspected human-to-feline transmission via close contact with humans with SARS-CoV-2. In the present study, we investigated a cat with SARS-CoV-2 that was presented to a private animal clinic in Northern Italy in May 2020 in a weak clinical condition due to an underlying intestinal B-cell lymphoma. The cat developed signs of respiratory tract disease, including a sneeze, a cough and ocular discharge, three days after an oropharyngeal swab tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA using two real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) assays for the envelope (E) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA was detectable prior to the onset of clinical signs. Five and six months after positive molecular results, the serological testing substantiated the presence of a SARS-CoV-2 infection in the cat with the detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) immunoglobulin (IgG) antibodies and neutralizing activity in a surrogate virus neutralization assay (sVNT). To the best of our knowledge, this extends the known duration of seropositivity of SARS-CoV-2 in a cat. Our study provides further evidence that cats are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 under natural conditions and strengthens the assumption that comorbidities may play a role in the development of clinical disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/immunology , Lymphoma, B-Cell/veterinary , Animals , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cat Diseases/virology , Cats , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Italy , Lymphoma, B-Cell/immunology , Lymphoma, B-Cell/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
19.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248578, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150545

ABSTRACT

The epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by a novel Betacoronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) became a public health emergency worldwide. Few reports indicate that owned pets from households with at least one human resident that was diagnosed with COVID-19 can be infected by SARS-CoV-2. However, the exposure to SARS-CoV-2 of pets from households with no COVID-19 cases or stray animals remains less assessed. Using real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT90), we investigated the infection and previous exposure of dogs and cats to SARS-CoV-2 during the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. From June to August 2020, 96 animals were sampled, including 49 cats (40 owned and 9 stray) and 47 dogs (42 owned and 5 stray). Regarding owned pets, 75.6% (62/82) belonged to households with no COVID-19 cases. Samples included serum, and rectal and oropharyngeal swabs. All swabs were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, but serum samples of a stray cat and a stray dog presented neutralizing antibodies for SARS-CoV-2, with PRNT90 titer of 80 and 40, respectively. Serological data presented here suggest that not only owned pets from households with COVID19 cases, but also stray animals are being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cat Diseases/pathology , Cat Diseases/virology , Cats , Dog Diseases/pathology , Dog Diseases/virology , Dogs , Female , Male , Oropharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Rectum/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
20.
Viruses ; 13(3)2021 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138760

ABSTRACT

Since the emergence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in late 2019, domestic cats have been demonstrated to be susceptible to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) under natural and experimental conditions. As pet cats often live in very close contact with their owners, it is essential to investigate SARS-CoV-2 infections in cats in a One-Health context. This study reports the first SARS-CoV-2 infection in a cat in a COVID-19-affected household in Switzerland. The cat (Cat 1) demonstrated signs of an upper respiratory tract infection, including sneezing, inappetence, and apathy, while the cohabiting cat (Cat 2) remained asymptomatic. Nasal, oral, fecal, fur, and environmental swab samples were collected twice from both cats and analyzed by RT-qPCR for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA. Both nasal swabs from Cat 1 tested positive. In addition, the first oral swab from Cat 2 and fur and bedding swabs from both cats were RT-qPCR positive. The fecal swabs tested negative. The infection of Cat 1 was confirmed by positive SARS-CoV-2 S1 receptor binding domain (RBD) antibody testing and neutralizing activity in a surrogate assay. The viral genome sequence from Cat 1, obtained by next generation sequencing, showed the closest relation to a human sequence from the B.1.1.39 lineage, with one single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) difference. This study demonstrates not only SARS-CoV-2 infection of a cat from a COVID-19-affected household but also contamination of the cats' fur and bed with viral RNA. Our results are important to create awareness that SARS-CoV-2 infected people should observe hygienic measures to avoid infection and contamination of animal cohabitants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/virology , Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Cat Diseases/diagnosis , Cats , Feces/virology , Male , Phylogeny , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Switzerland
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