So far, most cases of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection in pets tend to be asymptomatic. However, a new study has pointed to the risk of developing myocarditis – a type of infection that affects the heart, and is considered dangerous – in dogs and cats. The animals were infected with the alpha variant (B.1.1.7) of the covid-19 virus, which was first identified in the UK.
The study, published in the scientific journal VetRecord, found that most of the animals became ill after their parents contracted the coronavirus. Currently, “It is not known whether the British variant B.1.1.7 could easily infect certain animal species or increase the potential for human-to-animal transmission,” the authors explain.
In all, the survey identified six animals infected with the COVID-19 virus and who had cardiac complications of the disease. Half of them tested positive in the RT-PCR assay, while the other half had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 2, on average, 6 weeks after showing signs of heart disease.
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The researchers commented on the possible source of infection: “Many of the owners of these pets developed respiratory symptoms 3 to 6 weeks before their animals became ill, and they also tested positive for COVID-19.” Interestingly, no animal showed respiratory symptoms of COVID-19, only cardiac changes.
Understand the results of the study on Covid dogs and cats
Study authors Luca Ferasin explained: “Our study reports the first cases of dogs and cats affected by the alpha variant of covid-19 and highlights, more than ever, the risk of infection in animals concomitant with SARS-CoV-2.” and researcher at the Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre, UK.
“We have also reported atypical clinical manifestations characterized by severe cardiac malformations, a complication known in people with COVID-19 but not previously described in pets,” Virsen commented.
“However, COVID-19 infection in pets remains a relatively rare condition, and based on our observations, transmission appears to occur from humans to pets, not the other way around.”
To access the full study on pets infected with the alpha variant of the coronavirus, click Here.
Source: bio engineer
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