SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in home cats has elevated over time

In a latest research posted to the bioRxiv* preprint server, researchers evaluated extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission amongst home cats in the UK (UK).

Examine: Rising SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence and Patterns of Cross-Variant Antibody Neutralization in UK Home Cats. Picture Credit score: Gunnar Rathbun/Shutterstock

Cats have been in shut contact with animals (wild and domesticated) and people. Latest research have reported transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to people from cats, underscoring the necessity for monitoring coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) within the home cat inhabitants. Nevertheless, the consequences of COVID-19 on cats are usually not well-characterized and require additional investigation.

Concerning the research

Within the current research, researchers assessed the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections amongst cats in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic within the UK.

Residual serum samples had been obtained from Glasgow College’s Veterinary diagnostic companies (VDS) laboratory and examined for antibodies in opposition to the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein receptor-binding area (RBD) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). As well as, pseudotype-based viral neutralization assays (PVNA) had been carried out to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies.

Neutralizing titers had been measured in opposition to a panel of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pseudotypes comprising the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 strains such because the Wuhan-Hu-1 pressure (B.1), or Alpha, Delta, or Omicron BA.1 variants of concern (VOC) for evaluating the specificity of neutralizing responses and whether or not it correlated with VOCs prone to have been circulating throughout an infection.

PVNA-positive cat samples had been confirmed by double antigen binding assays (DABA). The crew excluded cat samples of poor high quality. e.g., these exhibiting marked hemolysis and duplicate samples. The samples had been allotted distinctive identification numbers, and the research investigators had been blinded to the metadata of cat samples.

The seropositive animals had been categorized based mostly on the SARS-CoV-2 pseudotype variant in opposition to which the very best neutralizing titers had been obtained. Within the case of a number of samples from the identical animal, the earliest pattern was used to estimate seroprevalence.


A complete of 2309 cat sera samples obtained between April 21, 2020, and February 7, 2022, had been analyzed. Of the pattern inhabitants, 51% (n=1174) had been male, 37% (n=853) had been feminine, and for the remaining cats, the intercourse was not documented. The imply age of the cats was 5 years. The pattern inhabitants comprised 720 (31.0%) and 1300 (56.0%) pedigree cats and non-pedigree cats, respectively, with the remaining cats being of an unspoken breed. Cats residing in 112 out of 126 postal code areas of the UK had been sampled, with an over-representation of Glasgow, Blackpool, Cambridge, and Edinburgh.

The general seroprevalence was three %, peaking between September and November of 2021 (5 %) and between December 2021 and February 2022 (5 %). Variant-specific neutralizing antibody responses had been detected with titers waning over time. The variant-specific response within the cat inhabitants correlated with and trailed the variants circulating within the human inhabitants, indicating a number of ongoing human-to-cat spill-over occasions.

Extra pedigree cats (4 %, n=31) in comparison with non-pedigree ones (n=39, three %) confirmed SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity, with the very best SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence amongst Siamese, British blue/shorthair and Bengal breeds. Nevertheless, the seroprevalence inter-breed variations had been non-significant.

The efficiency of neutralization titers amongst non-pedigree cats and pedigree cats didn’t differ considerably. Extra male cats in comparison with feminine cats had been SARS-CoV-2-positive; nevertheless, the distinction was not statistically important. As well as, SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence didn’t present any important age-based variations, and there have been no correlations between cat age and SARS-CoV-2 neutralization titers.

The evaluation findings confirmed that 36% (n=27), 41% (n=31), and 23% (n=17) of seropositive cats confirmed Delta-dominant, Alpha-dominant, and B.1 strain-dominant responses, respectively. Delta VOC-dominant cats confirmed increased titers of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (common 760) than Alpha-dominant (488) cats or Wuhan-Hu-1 (B.1) strain-dominant cats (329).

Extra pedigree cats than non-pedigree ones confirmed Delta VOC dominance; nevertheless, the discovering was statistically non-significant. SARS-CoV-2 VOCs had been extra evenly distributed amongst non-pedigree cat animals, whereas comparatively fewer pedigree cat animals had been B.1-infected. B.1 strain-dominant cats confirmed marginally decrease anti-Alpha titers than anti-B.1 titer, however the anti-Delta and anti-Omicron titers had been considerably decrease.

Alpha-dominant cats confirmed marginally decrease anti-B.1 titer than anti-Alpha VOC titers and significantly decrease anti-Omicron and anti-Delta titers. Delta VOC-dominant cats demonstrated comparable titers in opposition to B.1, Omicron and Alpha, which had been significantly decrease than anti-Delta titers. 5 SARS-CoV-2-positive cats had been sampled ≥12.0 days aside, and amongst all of the 5 cats, SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing titers decreased with time. The proportion discount in neutralizing titers per day diversified significantly throughout the cat samples, however three cats confirmed constant outcomes throughout variants.

Total, the research findings confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in UK home cats has elevated with time. The cats may act as SARS-CoV-2 reservoirs, intermediate hosts, and as a supply of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants.

*Necessary discover

bioRxiv publishes preliminary scientific experiences that aren’t peer-reviewed and, subsequently, shouldn’t be thought to be conclusive, information scientific follow/health-related habits, or handled as established info.

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