home .Featured, Animals and the Built Environment, Coronavirus #COVID19 Journal club “Susceptibility of ferrets, cats, dogs, and other domesticated animals to SARS–coronavirus 2”

#COVID19 Journal club “Susceptibility of ferrets, cats, dogs, and other domesticated animals to SARS–coronavirus 2”


Not a pre-print this time but a (presumably) peer-reviewed article about the susceptibility of domesticated animals to SARS-CoV-2.  The authors looked at  dogs, cats, ferrets, pigs, ducks, and chickens.  Basically the virus can infect ferrets and cats pretty well and that with cats, they can potentially get the virus from other cats.  Not clear yet what this will all mean for transmission risk in humans but certainly of great interest.  Abstract below:


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the infectious disease COVID-19, which was first reported in Wuhan, China in December, 2019. Despite the tremendous efforts to control the disease, COVID-19 has now spread to over 100 countries and caused a global pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have originated in bats; however, the intermediate animal sources of the virus are completely unknown. Here, we investigated the susceptibility of ferrets and animals in close contact with humans to SARS-CoV-2. We found that SARS-CoV-2 replicates poorly in dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks, but ferrets and cats are permissive to infection. We found experimentally that cats are susceptible to airborne infection. Our study provides important insights into the animal models for SARS-CoV-2 and animal management for COVID-19 control.


David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter

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