Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 clinical outcome in domestic and wild cats: a systematic review.

Abstract

Recently, it has been proved that SARS-CoV-2 has the ability to infect multiple species. This work was aimed at identifying the clinical signs of SARS-CoV-2 infection in domestic and wild felids. A PRISMA-based systematic review was performed on case reports on domestic and wild cats, reports on experimental infections, case reports in databases, preprints and published press releases. Descriptive statistical analysis of the data was performed. A total of 256 articles, 63 detailed official reports and 2 press articles on SARS-CoV-2 infection in domestic and wild cats were analyzed, of which 19 articles and 65 reports were finally included. In domestic cats, most cats' infections are likely to be asymptomatic, and 46% of the reported infected animals were symptomatic and predominantly presented respiratory signs such as sneezing and coughing. In wild felines, respiratory clinical signs were most frequent, and up to 96.5% of the reported affected animals presented coughing. It is noteworthy that, to date, symptomatic animals with SARS-CoV-2 infection have been reported to belong to two different subfamilies (Phanterinae and Felinae), with up to five different felid species affected within the Felidae family. Reported results evince that the signs developed in felids show similar progression to those occurring in humans, suggesting a relationship between the viral cycle and target tissues of the virus in different species. While viral transmission to humans in contact with animal populations has not been reported, spill-back could result in the emergence of immune-escape mutants that might pose a risk to public health. Despite the clear results in the identification of the typical clinical picture of SARS-CoV-2 infection in felines, the number of detailed academic reports and papers on the subject is scarce. Therefore, further description of these cases will allow for more accurate and statistically robust clinical approaches in the future.