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Article

Serological Screening for Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in Dutch Shelter Cats

1
Department of Clinical Sciences, Shelter Medicine Program, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 108, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands
2
Veterinary Microbiological Diagnostic Centre (VMDC), Department of Biomolecular Health Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 1, 3584 CL Utrecht, The Netherlands
3
Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 108, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands
4
Virology Division, Department of Biomolecular Health Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 1, 3584 CL Utrecht, The Netherlands
5
Department of Population Health Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 7, 3584 CL Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Margaret Hosie and Regina Hofmann-Lehmann
Viruses 2021, 13(8), 1634; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081634
Received: 25 June 2021 / Revised: 6 August 2021 / Accepted: 9 August 2021 / Published: 18 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Infections in Companion Animals)
The COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns that companion animals might be infected with, and could become a reservoir of, SARS-CoV-2. As cats are popular pets and susceptible to Coronavirus, we investigated the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in shelter cats housed in Dutch animal shelters during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this large-scale cross-sectional study, serum samples of shelter cats were collected during the second wave of human COVID-19 infections in The Netherlands. Seroprevalence was determined by using an indirect protein-based ELISA validated for cats, and a Virus Neutralization Test (VNT) as confirmation. To screen for feline SARS-CoV-2 shedding, oropharyngeal and rectal swabs of cats positive for ELISA and/or VNT were analyzed using PCR tests. In 28 Dutch animal shelters, 240 shelter cats were convenience sampled. Two of these cats (0.8%; CI 95%: 0.1–3.0%) were seropositive, as evidenced by the presence of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. The seropositive animals tested PCR negative for SARS-CoV-2. Based on the results of this study, it is unlikely that shelter cats could be a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 or pose a (significant) risk to public health. View Full-Text
Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 antibody; seroprevalence; serology; titer; animal shelter; one health; shelter medicine Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 antibody; seroprevalence; serology; titer; animal shelter; one health; shelter medicine
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MDPI and ACS Style

van der Leij, W.J.R.; Broens, E.M.; Hesselink, J.W.; Schuurman, N.; Vernooij, J.C.M.; Egberink, H.F. Serological Screening for Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in Dutch Shelter Cats. Viruses 2021, 13, 1634. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081634

AMA Style

van der Leij WJR, Broens EM, Hesselink JW, Schuurman N, Vernooij JCM, Egberink HF. Serological Screening for Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in Dutch Shelter Cats. Viruses. 2021; 13(8):1634. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081634

Chicago/Turabian Style

van der Leij, W. J. R., Els M. Broens, Jan Willem Hesselink, Nancy Schuurman, Johannes C. M. Vernooij, and Herman F. Egberink. 2021. "Serological Screening for Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in Dutch Shelter Cats" Viruses 13, no. 8: 1634. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081634

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