Absence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in cats and dogs in close contact with a cluster of COVID-19 patients in a veterinary campus

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Absence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in cats and dogs in close contact with a cluster of COVID-19 patients in a veterinary campus

Published 20 April 2020

Temmam, S. et al. (2020) Absence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in cats and dogs in close contact with a cluster of COVID-19 patients in a veterinary campus bioRvix https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.07.029090

This study, from the Institut Pasteur, reports on the testing of 9 cats and 12 dogs living in close contact with their owners, belonging to a group of 20 veterinary students in which two students tested positive for COVID-19 and several others (n = 11/18) showed clinical signs (fever, cough, anosmia, etc.) consistent with COVID-19 infection, between 25th February and 18th March 2020. Although a few pets were reported to have presented clinical signs indicative of a coronavirus infection; blood samples collected on 25th March and nasal and rectal swabs collected daily for 1 week, starting from the day of blood sampling, all tested negative for virus (PCR) and antibodies (immunoprecipitation).

While this study provides preliminary evidence that animals living with their owners do not become infected, it is important to note that this is a small study and it is possible that the timing of the samples could have missed transient contamination.

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