Background and Aim: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute infectious respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has spread rapidly globally, resulting in a pandemic. In humans, the main routes of transmission are respiratory droplets and close contact with infected individuals or through contact with an object infected with the virus, followed by touching mouth, nose, or eyes. It is assumed that SARS-CoV-2 was originated in wild animals and was then transmitted to humans. Although some wildlife and domestic animals can be naturally or experimentally infected with the virus, the intermediate hosts that transmitted it to humans are still unknown. Understanding the dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 associated with possible zoonotic transmission of intermediate hosts is considered critical. Reportedly, cats or dogs living with COVID-19-positive humans tested positive for the disease, suggesting that the virus was transmitted to the animals from humans. Information regarding the epidemiological investigation and comprehensive studies is limited. Therefore, it is still unclear how high is the correlation of infection in humans and pet animals, especially those living together. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the pets of patients with COVID-19 who were hospitalized at the Wangaya hospital, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Materials and Methods: A total of seven clinically asymptomatic pets (six dogs of different races and sexes and a cat [age, 360-2920 days]) were included in this study. These animals belonged to patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection from August to November 2020. Nasal swab and nasopharyngeal samples were collected from the pets individually under anesthetic condition and were collected 6-12 days after confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in owners and hospitalization at the Wangaya Hospital. The swab samples were then processed for RNA isolation and tested using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for SARS-CoV-2, in accordance with the World Health Organization manual 2020. Results: RT-PCR results for all seven RNA samples, prepared from the swab samples, were negative. For the samples, all PCR products were below the threshold limit, suggesting no genetic material belonging to the samples tested. Conclusion: This was the first preliminary study of COVID-19 on pets in pandemic using RT-PCR. The study tested a very limited quantity of samples, and all of them were negative. However, the way in which the samples were prepared was considered appropriate. Therefore, in further studies, testing of more samples of pets of more individuals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection is required.
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- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2
- Viral detection
ASJC Scopus subject areas