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. 2020 Dec 8;2020.12.08.416339. doi: 10.1101/2020.12.08.416339. Preprint

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.

Publication types

  • Preprint