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Coronavirus
Can cats become infected with Covid-19?
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  • Published on:
    Routine screening of cats for COVID-19: Is it necessary?
    • Khan Sharun, Small animal practitioner Division of Surgery, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India

    In a recent letter, Xiangdong Li (VR, April 2020, vol 186, pp 457-458) summarized the occurrence of COVID-19 in cats and other domestic animals [1]. Recently the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) reported two cases of COVID-19 infection in pet cats [2]. As of now, a total of four cases have been reported in cats around the world; Hong Kong (1), Belgium (1), and New York (2) [1, 2]. Even though experimental inoculation of SARS-CoV-2 did not produce any clinical signs, infected cats were able to transmit the disease to other susceptible cats via respiratory droplets [3]. The increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in cats should be considered as a concern even if there are no reports of animal-to-human transmission.
    Two small scale serological investigations have been conducted in the domestic cat populations till now, one in China and another in France [4, 5]. The serological survey conducted in Wuhan, China, reported that 11 out of the total 102 cats tested had SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies [4]. In the serological survey conducted in France, a total of 9 cats that are living in close contact with their owners were tested. Even though the owners were tested positive for COVID-19, none of the cats were infected that was evident from the negative RT-PCR and serological test results [5]. Since it is very difficult to obtain a general conclusion from these serological surveys, further investigations are required.
    The number of laboratory-confirme...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.