Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in cats: a systematic review

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Ana Izabel Passarella Teixeira
Ligia Cantarino


The epidemiological role of cats in the coronavirus disease pandemic remains unclear despite of several studies that have been conducted to understand it, in other words it is not yet known whether the cat would be able to transmit severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to humans. Taking that into account, the objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review to identify what is known and not known on this topic. Our results revealed that cats can be infected through an airborne (perhaps oral, too) route and that the clinical development of the infection in cats is parallel to that in humans. The majority of infected cats remained asymptomatic, and more severe clinical cases described occurred only in animals with comorbidities. In addition to infection, cats achieved seroconversion with detectable titers. However, the epidemiological role of cats in relation to transmission routes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) remains unclear and needs to be studied further. We emphasize that, regardless of the conclusion regarding the epidemiological role of cats, this reinforces the concepts of ONE HEALTH to be incorporated into the studies and practices of epidemiological surveillance of infectious diseases, with multidisciplinary teams, to achieve an understanding of the transmission of diseases with zoonotic potential.

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How to Cite
Teixeira, A. I. P. ., & Cantarino, L. . (2021). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in cats: a systematic review. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 43(1), e000421.


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