Covid-19: A study by researchers at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC / Fiocruz) identified antibodies against the coronavirus in a cat and a stray dog in Rio de Janeiro. The study was published this week in the scientific journal Plos One.
The research indicates that, despite being exposed to Sars-CoV-2, the animals ended up developing an immune response against the virus. According to the scientists, the work reinforces that the animals are also being infected by other people.
“The current results are in line with previous research that suggests human-animal transmission of Sars-CoV-2. For this reason, research in animal populations, through a Unique Health approach, is necessary and should be encouraged ”, defend the experts in the article.
They point out, however, that there is still no evidence to the contrary, of the transmission of covid-19 to humans from dogs or cats. “We reinforce that any attempt to abandon or mistreat animals is condemnable and is not justified”, they point out.
The survey analyzed samples of animals that were in 2 veterinary clinics in the city of Rio de Janeiro, between June and August 2020. 96 animals were examined (pets and street animals that were welcomed by NGOs), 49 cats and 47 dogs.
The neutralizing antibodies specific to the coronavirus were detected in the serum of a cat and a dog through the so-called “plaque reduction neutralization test”, which is a highly specific serological assay methodology.
The animals also underwent PCR tests, which are also used in humans to detect the presence of the virus and point out an ongoing infection, but none of the animals tested positive.