2020/2021/ 2022. SARS-COV-2 VIRUS IN PETS IN THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA - COMBINED RESEARCH RESULTS
DVM Danijela Videnović 1*, Tamaš Petrović 2 , Sara Savić 2
Veterinary clinic for pets Zeleni venac vet, Belgrade, Serbia *1
Scientific Veterinary Institute „Novi Sad“, Novi Sad, Serbia 2
Corresponding author *: firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary The aim of our small study was to determine whether the COVID-19 pandemic in Serbia transmitted the virus from humans to pets - dogs and cats, how frequent the infection was, whether the presence of the virus and infection in dogs and cats can be successfully to detect in our conditions, what is the clinical picture of SARS-CoV-2 infection in dogs and cats, the possible epidemic significance of this infection for humans and others. During previous waves of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020/2021), 2 pets (1 dog and 1 cat) were found positive for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by RT-PCR test (2/14; 14.29%), while 1 dog was suspected of the presence of the virus (high Ct value in the RT-PCR test). In the third and fourth waves of pandemia, another 27 pets were examined for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection in 2021/2022. The presence of the virus was detected in 2 cats (2/27; 7.41%). The sampling was done in multiple occasions. In positive individuals, the virus was most often detected in throat swab samples, less frequently in the nasal swab, and none in the rectal swab. Blood samples collection, for detection of the presence of specific antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 by ELISA test, were also multiple, in order to detect the presence and monitor the duration of immunity. In the first waves of the pandemic in R. Serbia during 2020/2021, positive results on specific antibody presence were obtained in 3/14 (21.43%) of the examined animals (2 dogs and 1 cat), while in the third and fourth wave of the pandemic out of 27 examined, 2 (7.41%) antibody positive animals were found (2 cats). The earliest detection of antibodies was determined 14 days after contact with a positive person for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. All tested individuals (exclusively pets) were sampled in Belgrade in the period from October 2020 to April 2022, respecting the basic epidemiological measures during the collection of pets, sampling and return of animals to their owners who were in isolation, since they were infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus (even their whole families). In pets, the formation and duration of immunity was monitored after the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The various forms of some diseases in pets that are diagnosed during the identification of SARS-CoV-2 virus itself, or during the formation of immunity, probably cannot always be considered an accidental finding. Other diagnostic procedures used in dogs and cats in parallel with the molecular RT-PCR method for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus during and after suspected infection are considered as good practice. The clinical picture in pets was often asymptomatic at the beginning, or with nonspecific symptoms. While in dogs the clinical symptoms were mostly nonspecific (clear secretion from the eye, nose, increased salivation in the throat), in cats there was occasional sneezing, clear secretions, and in some diarrhea and vomiting. Body temperature was within normal limits or below the limit values. All these results were obtained during the current COVID 19 pandemic, and it can be said that the strains of SARS-CoV-2 virus that led to the infection of pets were different and correlated with the epidemic wave that was in Serbia at that time. It is interesting to note that so far very little is known about pets that died or euthanized during or after SARS-CoV-2 infection, and even less is known about which vital organs the virus can leave changes. Veterinary public health during the COVID 19 pandemic showed its importance during the confirmation of the transmission of various strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from humans to pets in other countries as well as in Serbia. For now, the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus from dog and cat to human has not been detected. This fact does not diminish the importance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in relation to other species-specific corona viruses, but it is one of the reasons why the veterinary profession takes care of the health of pets, but also of human health.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, COVID 19, dogs, cats, pets, Serbia
XXIV Симпозијум епизоотиолога и епидемиолога / XXIV Епизоотиолошки дани
XXIV SYMPOSIUM OF EPIZOOTIOLOGIST AND EPIDEMIOLOGIST , Book of abstracts
DVM Danijela Videnović
Zeleni venac vet
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Zeleni venac vet
KUĆNI LJUBIMCI, VETERINARSKA MEDICINA, preventiva, epidemiologija, virusi