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Pet Cats Highly Susceptible to SARS-CoV-2

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Cats are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, but transmissibility is reduced as the virus spreads through cats, according to new research from China.

Studies have suggested that domestic cats may become infected with SARS-CoV-2 from patients with COVID-19, arousing concern that cats could spread the virus to humans, although there is no direct evidence of that to date.

A team from Beijing systematically studied the pathogenesis and transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 in cats, reporting their findings in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

In a series of experiments, Dr. Chuan Qin with the Beijing Key Laboratory for Animal Models of Emerging and Remerging Infectious Diseases and colleagues confirm that cats can be infected with SARS-CoV-2 through intranasal inoculation.

“Consistent with our results, other studies have reported that cats are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection via intranasal and oral routes with prolonged periods of throat viral shedding and clinicopathological abnormalities, but they are unlikely to develop the clinical disease,” they report.

Also in line with prior studies, they found that cats transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to other cats through close contact. “However, the SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility and pathogenicity were significantly reduced by sequential passaging within the cats,” they report.

Dr. Qin did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/3uoIMzQ The Journal of Infectious Diseases, online February 19, 2021.

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  • Posted on February 25, 2021