Natural SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Kept Ferrets, Spain

Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Jul;27(7):1994-1996. doi: 10.3201/eid2707.210096.


We found severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA in 6 (8.4%) of 71 ferrets in central Spain and isolated and sequenced virus from 1 oral and 1 rectal swab specimen. Natural infection occurs in kept ferrets when virus circulation among humans is high. However, small ferret collections probably cannot maintain virus circulation.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Spain; coronavirus disease; ferrets; mustela putorius furo; natural infection; pets; respiratory infections; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; viruses; work animals; zoonoses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COVID-19*
  • Ferrets*
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Spain / epidemiology