OAHN Companion Animal Research Project: Prevalence of seroconversion to SARS-CoV-2 among dogs, cats and ferrets in close contact with humans with confirmed or probable COVID-19 (In Progress)

Project Lead: Dr. Dorothee Bienzle

Collaborators:  Dr. Scott Weese

 

Project Background

While it is known that cats and ferrets, and to a lesser extent dogs, can be infected with SARS-CoV-2, and while it appears that most infections in pets are the result of transmission from close contact with infected humans, it is unclear how often transmission from humans to pets occurs. Knowledge about the infection dynamics of this virus in pets and between people and pets is essential to help estimate the risks to animal health and the potential for transmission back to humans.

Objectives
1. To determine the prevalence of seroconversion to SARS-CoV-2 in a convenience sample of dogs, cats and ferrets in close contact with humans with confirmed or probable COVID-19 in the previous 6 months
2. To identify additional risk factors for seroconversion in pets (e.g. species, age, comorbidities, types of contact, number of infected contacts, suspected clinical signs of infection)

Media

Pets at High Risk of COVID-19 Infection From Owners, OVC Research Finds – U of Guelph

Study suggests substantial proportion of pet cats and dogs are infected with SARS-CoV-2 by their owners – Phys.org

People with COVID Often Infect Their Pets – Scientific American