Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

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

Version 1 : Received: 8 June 2021 / Approved: 9 June 2021 / Online: 9 June 2021 (07:40:55 CEST)

How to cite: Stevanovic, V.; Tabain, I.; Vilibic-Cavlek, T.; Mauric Maljkovic, M.; Benvin, I.; Hruskar, Z.; Kovac, S.; Smit, I.; Miletic, G.; Hadina, S.; Staaresina, 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. Preprints 2021, 2021060244 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202106.0244.v1). Stevanovic, V.; Tabain, I.; Vilibic-Cavlek, T.; Mauric Maljkovic, M.; Benvin, I.; Hruskar, Z.; Kovac, S.; Smit, I.; Miletic, G.; Hadina, S.; Staaresina, 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. Preprints 2021, 2021060244 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202106.0244.v1).

Abstract

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 population. 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 neutralisation 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. Seropositive dogs had a 1.97 times greater risk for developing central nervous symptoms.

Subject Areas

SARS-CoV-2; animals; dogs; epidemiology; risk factors; clinical picture; Croatia

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