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Article

The Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 within the Dog Population in Croatia: Host Factors and Clinical Outcome

1
Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases with Clinic, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2
Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
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Department of Virology, Croatian Institute of Public Health, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
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School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
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Department for Animal Breeding and Livestock Production, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
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Department of Epidemiology, Croatian Institute of Public Health, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Luis Martinez-Sobrido and Fernando Almazan Toral
Viruses 2021, 13(8), 1430; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081430
Received: 8 June 2021 / Revised: 8 July 2021 / Accepted: 19 July 2021 / Published: 22 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, there is growing evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infections among dogs are more common than previously thought. In this study, the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was investigated in two dog populations. The first group was comprised of 1069 dogs admitted to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital for any given reason. The second group included dogs that shared households with confirmed COVID-19 cases in humans. This study group numbered 78 dogs. In COVID-19 infected households, 43.9% tested ELISA positive, and neutralising antibodies were detected in 25.64% of dogs. Those data are comparable with the secondary attack rate in the human population. With 14.69% of dogs in the general population testing ELISA positive, there was a surge of SARS-CoV-2 infections within the dog population amid the second wave of the pandemic. Noticeably seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the dog and the human population did not differ at the end of the study period. Male sex, breed and age were identified as significant risk factors. This study gives strong evidence that while acute dog infections are mostly asymptomatic, they can pose a significant risk to dog health. Due to the retrospective nature of this study, samples for viral isolation and PCR were unavailable. Still, seropositive dogs had a 1.97 times greater risk for developing central nervous symptoms. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; animals; dogs; epidemiology; risk factors; clinical picture; Croatia SARS-CoV-2; animals; dogs; epidemiology; risk factors; clinical picture; Croatia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Stevanovic, V.; Tabain, I.; Vilibic-Cavlek, T.; Mauric Maljkovic, M.; Benvin, I.; Hruskar, Z.; Kovac, S.; Smit, I.; Miletic, G.; Hadina, S.; Staresina, V.; Radin, L.; Plichta, V.; Skrlin, B.; Vrbanac, Z.; Brkljacic, M.; Cvetnic, M.; Habus, J.; Martinkovic, K.; Zecevic, I.; Jurkic, G.; Ferencak, I.; Stritof, Z.; Perharic, M.; Bucic, L.; Barbic, L. The Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 within the Dog Population in Croatia: Host Factors and Clinical Outcome. Viruses 2021, 13, 1430. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081430

AMA Style

Stevanovic V, Tabain I, Vilibic-Cavlek T, Mauric Maljkovic M, Benvin I, Hruskar Z, Kovac S, Smit I, Miletic G, Hadina S, Staresina V, Radin L, Plichta V, Skrlin B, Vrbanac Z, Brkljacic M, Cvetnic M, Habus J, Martinkovic K, Zecevic I, Jurkic G, Ferencak I, Stritof Z, Perharic M, Bucic L, Barbic L. The Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 within the Dog Population in Croatia: Host Factors and Clinical Outcome. Viruses. 2021; 13(8):1430. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081430

Chicago/Turabian Style

Stevanovic, Vladimir, Irena Tabain, Tatjana Vilibic-Cavlek, Maja Mauric Maljkovic, Iva Benvin, Zeljka Hruskar, Snjezana Kovac, Iva Smit, Gorana Miletic, Suzana Hadina, Vilim Staresina, Lada Radin, Valentina Plichta, Branimir Skrlin, Zoran Vrbanac, Mirna Brkljacic, Marija Cvetnic, Josipa Habus, Kresimir Martinkovic, Iva Zecevic, Gabrijela Jurkic, Ivana Ferencak, Zinka Stritof, Matko Perharic, Lovro Bucic, and Ljubo Barbic. 2021. "The Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 within the Dog Population in Croatia: Host Factors and Clinical Outcome" Viruses 13, no. 8: 1430. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081430

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