Current Evidence About the Role of Animals in the Transmission of Sars-Cov-2: Implications for Public Health

  • Azucena Cabrera
  • Dubán González-Álvarez
  • Santiago Upegui
  • Luz Adriana Gutiérrez
  • Silvia Posada
  • Diego A. Forero
Palabras clave: Virus, COVID-19, pandemics, pets, SARS-CoV-2


Introduction: The SARS-CoV-2 is the denomination of the new betacoronavirus, which was discovered and isolated for the first time in Wuhan, China, at the end of December 2019, and it is the causal agent of the sanitary emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic. Experimental studies have shown susceptibility to infection in pets (dogs and cats). Objective: To present the current information available on SARS-CoV-2 in animals under the care of humans that have been officially reported in the sanitary registries of the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS) of the World Organization for Animal Health. Materials and methods: We conducted a narrative review using Medline/ PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Sciences, and official documents of the World Organisation for Animal Health. The search terms used were as follows: “coronavirus”, “SARS coronavirus 2019”, “SARS-CoV”, “SARS-CoV-2 in dog and/or cat” “pets SARS-CoV-2”. Results: The studies reviewed in this manuscript highlight those positive cases in cats and dogs for SARS-CoV-2 have been associated with an exposure to positive COVID-19 people. In the available evidence, 55.17 % of the total cases of animals that were positive for SARS-CoV-2 were associated with people with COVID-19 who had the disease at home, possibly due to maintaining a longer exposure to the humans. Conclusion: Regarding the zoonotic aspects, it is important to clarify that although several animal species have been infected by SARSCoV- 2, none of them has been scientifically proven to represent a risk of direct transmission between positive animals and other humans or to play an epidemiological role in the disease.    


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