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First expert elicitation of knowledge on drivers of emergence of the COVID-19 in pets
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  • Claude Saegerman,
  • Juana Bianchini,
  • Véronique Renault,
  • Nadia Haddad,
  • Marie-France Humblet
Claude Saegerman
Universtiy of Liege
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Juana Bianchini
University of Liège
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Véronique Renault
University of Liege
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Nadia Haddad
Université Paris-Est, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort
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Marie-France Humblet
University of Liege
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Abstract

Infection with the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) induces the coronavirus infectious disease 19 (COVID-19). Its pandemic form in human population and its probable animal origin, along with recent case reports in pets, make drivers of emergence crucial in carnivore domestic pets, especially cats, dogs and ferrets. Few data are available in these species; we first listed forty-six possible drivers of emergence of COVID-19 in pets, regrouped in eight domains (i.e. pathogen/disease characteristics, spatial-temporal distance of outbreaks, ability to monitor, disease treatment and control, characteristics of pets, changes in climate conditions, wildlife interface, human activity, and economic and trade activities). Secondly, we developed a scoring system per driver, then elicited experts (N = 33) to: (i) allocate a score to each driver, (ii) weight the drivers scores within each domain and (iii) weight the different domains between them. Thirdly, an overall weighted score per driver was calculated; drivers were ranked in decreasing order. Fourthly, a regression tree analysis was used to group drivers with comparable likelihood to play a role in the emergence of COVID-19 in pets. Finally, the robustness of the expert elicitation was verified. Five drivers were ranked with the highest probability to play a key role in the emergence of COVID-19 in pets: availability and quality of diagnostic tools, human density close to pets, ability of preventive/control measures to avoid the disease introduction or spread in a country (except treatment, vaccination and reservoir(s) control), current species specificity of the disease causing agent and current knowledge on the pathogen. As scientific knowledge on the topic is scarce and still uncertain, expert elicitation of knowledge, in addition with clustering and sensitivity analyses, is of prime importance to prioritize future studies, starting from the top five drivers. The present methodology is applicable to other emerging pet diseases.

Peer review status:Published

06 Jun 2020Submitted to Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
08 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
08 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
09 Jun 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
29 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
30 Jun 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
04 Jul 20201st Revision Received
04 Jul 2020Submission Checks Completed
04 Jul 2020Assigned to Editor
07 Jul 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Jul 2020Editorial Decision: Accept
30 Jul 2020Published in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. 10.1111/tbed.13724