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SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing serum antibodies in cats: a serological investigation

By Qiang Zhang, Huajun Zhang, Kun C. Huang, Yong Yang, Xianfeng Hui, Jindong Gao, Xinglin He, Chengfei Li, Wenxiao Gong, Yufei Zhang, Cheng Peng, Xiaoxiao Gao, Huanchun Chen, Zhong Zou, Zhengli Shi, Meilin Jin

Posted 03 Apr 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.01.021196

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in Wuhan, China, and rapidly spread worldwide. Previous studies suggested cat could be a potential susceptible animal of SARS-CoV-2. Here, we investigated the infection of SARS-CoV-2 in cats by detecting specific serum antibodies. A cohort of serum samples were collected from cats in Wuhan, including 102 sampled after COVID-19 outbreak, and 39 prior to the outbreak. 15 of 102 (14.7%) cat sera collected after the outbreak were positive for the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 by indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Among the positive samples, 11 had SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies with a titer ranging from 1/20 to 1/1080. No serological cross-reactivity was detected between the SARS-CoV-2 and type I or II feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV). Our data demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 has infected cat population in Wuhan during the outbreak.

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