Study Finds That SARS-CoV-2 Alpha Variant Is Able To Infect Cats And Dogs And Cause Heart Issues In Them!
A new study by researchers from the Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre, Buckinghamshire-UK, the Université de Montpellier-France, the Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire-France and the Université Claude Bernard Lyon-France has found that the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) is able to not only infect pets such as cats and dogs but also cause a variety of heart abnormalities in them.
The research describes the infection of domestic cats and dogs by the B.1.1.7 variant. Two cats and one dog were positive to SARS-CoV-2 PCR on rectal swab, and two cats and one dog were found to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies 2–6 weeks after they developed signs of cardiac disease. Many owners of these pets had developed respiratory symptoms 3–6 weeks before their pets became ill and had also tested positive for COVID-19. Interestingly, all these pets were referred for acute onset of cardiac disease, including severe myocardial disorders of suspected inflammatory origin but without primary respiratory signs.
These study findings demonstrate, for the first time, the ability for pets to be infected by the B.1.1.7 variant and question its possible pathogenicity in these animals.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: Veterinary Record. https://bvajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/vetr.944
The current COVID-19 pandemic has put a major financial strain on healthcare, research and government budgets to fight the COVID-19 disease and very little resources have been dedicated to research on the effects of the virus on pets and even wild animals despite the fact that recombinant events and reverse zoonotic events could lead to catastrophic impacts on the human population.
This new study findings reveals that pets can be infected with the alpha variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans), which was first detected in southeast England and is commonly known as the UK variant or B.1.1.7. This variant rapidly outcompeted pre-existing variants in England due to its increased transmissibility and infectivity.
The study describes the first identification of the SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant in domestic pets; two cats and one dog were positive on PCR test, while two additional cats and one dog displayed antibodies two to six weeks after they developed signs of cardiac disease.
Alarmingly all of these pets had an acute onset of cardiac disease, including severe myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle).
If we were to ‘extrapolate’ these findings to humans, it is easy to conclude that humans too will develop cardiac issues upon asymptomatic or symptomatic infections of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and that the current issue of excess deaths globally due to heart failure could be attributed to SARS-CoV-2….something that governments around the world and medical experts are trying to downplay or even refuse to acknowledge!
Lead author Luca Ferasin, DVM, PhD, of The Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre, in the UK told Thailand Medical
News, “Our study reports the
first cases of cats and dogs affected by the COVID-19 alpha variant and highlights, more than ever, the risk that companion animals can become infected with SARS-CoV-2. We also reported the atypical clinical manifestations characterized by severe heart abnormalities, which is a well-recognized complication in people affected by COVID-19 but has never described in pets before. However, COVID-19 infection in pets remains a relatively rare condition and, based on our observations, it seems that the transmission occurs from humans to pets, rather than vice versa.”
However, many researchers are now calling for more studies to see if reverse zoonotic transmissions can occur ie from pets back to humans and also to see if recombinant events are possible for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other viruses unique to animals to combine or exchange proteins or mRNA, as we only need to see one such event occurring and it could spell doomsday for mankind.
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