New Delhi: The latest study in the Veterinary Records revealed that the pets can also be infected with the alpha variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was detected in southeastern England and was commonly called B.1.1.7 or the UK variant.
The variant swiftly outwitted pre-existing variants in England due to its increased infectivity and transmissibility.
The study reveals the very first identification of SARS-CoV-2 alpha in domestic pet animals: one dog and two cats were reported positive on PCR test, the domestic pets displayed antibodies after two to six weeks.
“Our study reports the first cases of cats and dogs affected by the COVID-19 alpha variant and highlights, more than ever, the risk that companion animals can become infected with SARS-CoV-2,” Luca Ferasin, lead author, DVM, Ph.D., of The Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre stated.
“We also reported the atypical clinical manifestations characterized by severe heart abnormalities, which is a well-recognised complication in people affected by COVIC-19 but has never been described in pets before. However, COVID-19 infection in pets remains a relatively rare condition and, based on our observations, it seems that the transmission occurs from humans to pets, rather than vice versa,” Luca added.