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Risk Factors for SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Illness in Cats and Dogs(1)

By D. Bienzle, J. Rousseau, D. Marom, J. MacNicol, L. Jacobson, S. Sparling, N. Prystajecky, E. Fraser, J. S. Weese

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Abstract

We tested swab specimens from pets in households in Ontario, Canada, with human COVID-19 cases by quantitative PCR for SARS-CoV-2 and surveyed pet owners for risk factors associated with infection and seropositivity. We tested serum samples for spike protein IgG and IgM in household pets and also in animals from shelters and low-cost neuter clinics. Among household pets, 2% (1/49) of swab specimens from dogs and 7.7% (5/65) from cats were PCR positive, but 41% of dog serum samples and 52% of cat serum samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgG or IgM. The likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity in pet samples was higher for cats but not dogs that slept on owners' beds and for dogs and cats that contracted a new illness. Seropositivity in neuter-clinic samples was 16% (35/221); in shelter samples, 9.3% (7/75). Our findings indicate a high likelihood for pets in households of humans with COVID-19 to seroconvert and become ill.

Date 2022
Publication Title Emerg Infect Dis
Volume 28
Issue 6
Pages 1154-1162
ISBN/ISSN 1080-6040 (Print)1080-6040
DOI 10.3201/eid2806.220423
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animals
  2. Canada
  3. Cat diseases
  4. Cats
  5. Covid-19
  6. Dogs
  7. Human-animal bond
  8. open access
  9. Pets and companion animals
  10. Respiratory tract infections
  11. risk factors
  12. Virus diseases
  13. Zoonoses
Badges
  1. open access