Epidemiological studies

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Epidemiological studies

Published 20 April 2020 | Updated 24 January 2024

There have now been a number of prevalence studies published, and reported in the news, providing details of levels of infection with SARS-CoV-2 in companion animals. In interpreting and comparing the results of these studies is important to be clear about what population of animals is being sampled, general population or those owned by people with confirmed COVID-19 infection and which tests are being carried out (antigen or antibody).

On 20th March, IDEXX Laboratories reported1 that they had tested thousands of canine and feline specimens during validation of a new veterinary test system for the COVID-19. The samples originated from the United States and South Korea, and IDEXX has now expanded monitoring to Canada and European countries and has seen no positive results in pets to date.

Although they state that sampling included areas with high rates of COVID-19 in the human population, details of the sampling strategy and timing were not given.

Reference

1. IDEXX (2020) IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR Test [online] Available at: https://www.idexx.com/en/about-idexx/covid-19-resources/#results [Accessed 20 April 2020]


Cats and dogs
  • Salajegheh Tazerji, S. et al. (2024) The risk of pet animals in spreading severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and public health importance: An updated reviewVeterinary Medicine and Science10, e1320. https://doi.org/10.1002/vms3.1320
  • Mūrniece, G. et al. (2023) Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in domestic cats (Felis catus) during COVID-19 pandemic in LatviaVeterinary Medicine and Sciencehttps://doi.org/10.1002/vms3.1338
  • Guimarães Nilsson, M. et al. (2024) High seroprevalence for SARS-CoV-2 infection in dogs: Age as risk factor for infection in shelter and foster home animals. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 222, 106094. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2023.106094
  • Chen, D. et al. (2023) Prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and feline enteric coronavirus (FECV) in shelter-housed cats in the Central Valley of California, USA. Veterinary Record Open, 10 (2), e73. https://doi.org/10.1002/vro2.73
  • Sparrer, M. N. et al. (2023) SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in a veterinary health system provides insight into transmission risks. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.23.05.0229
  • Fischer, E.A. et al. (2023) Contribution of cats and dogs to SARS-CoV-2 transmission in households. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 10. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2023.1151772
  • Barroso-Arévalo S. et al. (2023) SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence studies in pets, Spain. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 29 (6), pp. 1136-1142. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2906.221737
  • Meisner, J. et al. (2023) Household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to pets, Washington and Idaho, USA. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 28 (12), pp. 2425-2434.  https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2812.220215
  • Liew, A.Y. et al. (2023) Clinical and epidemiologic features of SARS-CoV-2 in dogs and cats compiled through national surveillance in the United States. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.22.08.0375
  • Shin, Y-K. et al. (2022) Whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 in cats and dogs in South Korea in 2021. Veterinary Sciences, 10 (1), 6. https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci10010006
  • Ferenandez-Bastit, L. et al. (2022) Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) infection and humoral responses against different variants of concern in domestic pet animals and stray cats from North‐Eastern Spain. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1111/tbed.14714
  • Kannenkens-Jager, M.M. et al. (2022) SARS‐CoV‐2 infection in dogs and cats is associated with contact to COVID‐19‐positive household members. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1111/tbed.14713
  • Kaczorek-Łukowska, E. et al. (2022) High Seroprevalence against SARS-CoV-2 among dogs and cats, Poland, 2021/2022. Animals, 12 (16), no. 2016. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12162016
  • Bienzle, D. et al. (2022) Risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection and illness in cats and dogs. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 28 (6), pp. 1154-1162. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2806.220423
  • de Souza Barbosa, A.B. et al (2022) Infection of SARS-CoV-2 in domestic dogs associated with owner viral load. Research in Veterinary Science, 153, pp. 61-65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2022.10.006

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Ferrets/Minks

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Bats


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Deers
    • McBride, D.S. et al. (2023) Accelerated evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in free-ranging white-tailed deer. Nature Communications, 14, no. 5105. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-40706-y
    • Khalafalla, A. I. (2023) SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibodies in Free-Ranging Fallow Deer (Dama dama) and Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) in Suburban and Rural Areas in Spain. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, no. 3324790. https://doi.org/10.1155/2023/3324790

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Equine
  • Pusterla, N., Lawton, K. and Barnum, S. (2023) Investigation of the seroprevalence to equine coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2 in healthy adult horses recently imported to the United States. Veterinary Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1080/01652176.2023.2288876

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Wildlife
  • Ehrlich, M. et al. (2023) Lack of SARS-CoV-2 Viral RNA Detection among a Convenience Sampling of Ohio Wildlife, Companion, and Agricultural Animals, 2020–2021. Animals, 13 (16), no. 2554. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13162554
  • Colombo, V.C. et al. (2022) SARS‐CoV‐2 surveillance in Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) from Antwerp sewer system, Belgium. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 69 (5), pp. 3016-3021. https://doi.org/10.1111/tbed.14219.
  • Wang, Y. et al. (2022) SARS-CoV-2 exposure in Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) from New York City. bioRxiv [Preprint]. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.11.18.517156.

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