Protective Immunity and Persistent Lung Sequelae in Domestic Cats after SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Feb;27(2):660-663. doi: 10.3201/eid2702.203884.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 readily transmits between domestic cats. We found that domestic cats that recover from an initial infection might be protected from reinfection. However, we found long-term persistence of inflammation and other lung lesions after infection, despite a lack of clinical symptoms and limited viral replication in the lungs.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; cats; coronavirus disease; lung sequelae; protective immunity; reinfection; respiratory infections; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; viruses; zoonoses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COVID-19 / immunology
  • COVID-19 / veterinary*
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Cat Diseases / immunology*
  • Cat Diseases / virology*
  • Cats
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lung / virology
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Virus Replication / immunology