December 14-20 2020
Can domestic animals be infected ?
The results are shown in the following diagram:
The link between households infected by SARS-CoV-2 and the presence of neutralizing antibodies (indicating past infection) is clear only in dogs. This contrasts with the first experimental studies that showed cats were more vulnerable to the virus than dogs. This discrepancy may be explained by the fact that generally, there is greater interaction between humans and dogs than humans and cats. It should also be noted that no young animals (of less than 1 year old) possessed antibodies directed against SARS-CoV-2, indicating that they had not been infected. In addition, the RT-PCR showed negative in all the animals tested, even in those with neutralizing antibodies. This may suggest that they are virus-free after a short time.
In conclusion, the percentage of animals having generated antibodies targeting the virus shows that infections are rare. However we don’t know at the current time if domestic animals play a significant role in the spreading of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic.