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First detection and genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 in an infected cat in France
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  • Corinne Sailleau,
  • Marine Dumarest,
  • Jessica Vanhomwegen,
  • Manon Delaplace,
  • valerie caro,
  • Aurélia Kwasiborski,
  • Véronique Hourdel,
  • Patrick Chevaillier ,
  • Alix Barbarino,
  • Loic Comtet,
  • philippe pourquier,
  • Bernard Klonjkowski,
  • Jean-Claude Manuguerra,
  • Stephan Zientara,
  • Sophie Lepoder
Corinne Sailleau
ANSES-ENVA-INRA
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Marine Dumarest
ANSES, Laboratoire de Santé Animale, UMR 1161 Virology
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Jessica Vanhomwegen
Institut Pasteur
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Manon Delaplace
Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort, UMR 1161 Virology
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valerie caro
Institut Pasteur Paris, Paris, France
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Aurélia Kwasiborski
Institut Pasteur
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Véronique Hourdel
Institut Pasteur
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Patrick Chevaillier
Clinique vétérinaire, Savigny sur Orge
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Alix Barbarino
ENVA
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Loic Comtet
ID VET
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philippe pourquier
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Bernard Klonjkowski
ENVA
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Jean-Claude Manuguerra
Institut Pasteur
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Stephan Zientara
ANSES-ENVA-INRA
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Sophie Lepoder
ENVA
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Abstract

After its first description in Wuhan (China), SARS-CoV-2 the agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) rapidly spread worldwide. Previous studies suggested that pets could be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. Here, we investigated the putative infection of SARS-CoV-2 in 22 cats and 11 dogs from owners previously infected or suspected of being infected by SARS-CoV-2. For each animal, rectal, nasopharyngeal swabs and serum were taken. Swabs were submitted to RT-qPCR assays targeting 2 genes of SARS-CoV-2. All dogs were tested SARS-CoV-2 negative. One cat was tested positive by RT-qPCR on rectal swab. Nasopharyngeal swabs from this animal were tested negative. This cat showed mild respiratory and digestive signs. Serological analysis confirm the presence of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 in the two serum samples taken 10 days apart. Genome sequence analysis revealed that the cat SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the phylogenetic clade A2a like most of the French human SARS-CoV-2. This study reports for the first time the natural infection of a cat in France (near Paris) probably through their owners. There is currently no evidence that cats can spread COVID-19 and owners should not abandon their pets or compromise their welfare.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

18 May 2020Submitted to Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
19 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
19 May 2020Assigned to Editor
20 May 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
25 May 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
25 May 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
27 May 20201st Revision Received
27 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
27 May 2020Assigned to Editor
27 May 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
27 May 2020Editorial Decision: Accept