University of Hong Kong: owners can infect dogs with coronavirus

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from Hong Kong have found evidence that a new type of coronavirus can be transmitted from person to dog. They took tests from 15 pets of people who had had COVID-19, and found that the dogs were infected by the owners.

From an article on the results of a study published in the publication Nature , it follows that scientists found in the body of one of the dogs they tested a “live” culture of the virus.

Previous studies have shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent of COVID-19, affects not only humans, but also animals such as cats , ferrets and rhesus monkeys. It turned out that the infection acts on them as much as on people. It has also been confirmed several cases of infection of cats from the owners.

Now, experts from Hong Kong University of China have found clear evidence that the virus can infect dogs, but their disease is asymptomatic. Scientists led by professor Malik Peyris examined blood samples and nasal secretions from 15 dogs whose owners suffered from COVID-19 in February and March. In the body of two animals, biologists found antibodies and traces of coronavirus RNA.

One of the dogs, a two-year-old Pomeranian, died of infection, and the other, a 2.5-year-old German Shepherd, recovered. Scientists compared the genome of a virus found in dogs with the genome of other strains. The SARS-CoV-2 “dog” turned out to be very similar to the virus variations that spread in Hong Kong after the outbreak of COVID-19 in the PRC.

It is noteworthy that the owner of the shepherd dog, who was ill and recovered, has another dog. She was not infected, and scientists concluded from this that coronavirus is less likely to be transmitted between dogs than between humans and cats.

In addition, biologists suggested that the pandemic could not start with bats and pangolins, which are sold in the Chinese markets as food, but with pets, which, however, are also sold in China for meat. Their role in the spread of the virus has yet to be established.

In late April, it was reported that large cats began to suffer from the coronavirus: in the New York Zoo, it was found in five tigers and three lions.


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