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[SARS-CoV-2 infections in cats, dogs, and other animal species: Findings on infection and data from Switzerland]

By T. Chan, J. Klaus, M. L. Meli, R. Hofmann-Lehmann

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The pandemic with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has led to infections and deaths worldwide. Apart from humans, certain animal species are susceptible to the viral infection. Spillover between humans and animals is favored by close contact; thus, surveillance of animals is an important component to fight the pandemic from a One Health perspective. The Clinical Laboratory of the Vetsuisse Faculty Zurich has been investigating SARS-CoV-2 infections in animals since the beginning of the pandemic. In November 2020, the first SARS-CoV-2 positive Swiss cat was reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE-WAHIS). The cat showed respiratory signs and lived in a COVID-19 affected household. By now, over 500 natural SARS-CoV-2 infections have been recorded in animals worldwide. A prevalence study on SARS-CoV-2 infections in dogs and cats was carried out together with clinics from Germany and Italy during the first wave of the pandemic (March-July 2020). Among the tested 1137 animals, only one cat and one dog were positive. The prevalence of infection in dogs and cats presented to veterinary clinics was low, even in pandemic hotspot regions. However, recent studies that focused on animals in COVID-19 households found a higher prevalence of infection. A study is currently underway that specifically collects samples from pets from Swiss COVID-19 affected household and collects data on human-animal interaction.

Publication Title Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd
Volume 163
Issue 12
Pages 821-835
ISBN/ISSN 0036-7281
DOI 10.17236/sat00329
Author Address Veterinärmedizinisches Labor, Departement für klinische Diagnostik und Services und Zentrum für Klinische Studien, Vetsuisse-Fakultät, Universität Zürich.
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal domestication
  2. Animals
  3. Cat diseases
  4. Cats
  5. Clinics
  6. Covid-19
  7. Dog diseases
  8. Dogs
  9. Domestic animals
  10. Humans
  11. Laboratories
  12. One Health
  13. open access
  14. Pets and companion animals
  15. Switzerland
  16. Virus diseases
  1. open access