SARS-CoV-2 Seroconversion in an Adult Horse with Direct Contact to a COVID-19 Individual

Viruses. 2022 May 14;14(5):1047. doi: 10.3390/v14051047.


The authors report on a possible direct exposure to SARS-CoV-2 from a COVID-19-positive individual to an adult horse. The individual, diagnosed with COVID-19 (Delta B.1.617.2), had daily contact to her two horses prior to and during the development of clinical disease. None of the two horses developed abnormal clinical signs or had detectable SARS-CoV-2 in blood, nasal secretion, or feces via RT-qPCR. However, one of the two horses showed close temporal seroconversion to SARS-CoV-2 using a protein-based ELISA and the plaque reduction neutralization test. The results suggest that horses can become silently infected with SARS-CoV-2 following close contact with humans infected with SARS-CoV-2. As a precautionary measure, humans infected with SARS-CoV-2 should avoid close contact with equids and other companion animals during the time of their illness to prevent viral transmission.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; antibodies; horse; spillover.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COVID-19* / veterinary
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Horses
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Seroconversion

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants