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Case report

Persistent SARS-CoV-2 antigen presence in multiple organs of a naturally infected cat from Brazil

Samar Afif Jarrah1, Louise Bach Kmetiuk2, Otávio Valério de Carvalho2, Alessandra Tammy Hayakawa Ito de Sousa1, Valeria Regia Franco Souza1, Luciano Nakazato1, Edson Moleta Colodel1, Andrea Pires dos Santos3, Christina Pettan-Brewer4, Rosane Christine Hahn5, Renata Dezengrini Slhessarenko6, Daniel Guimarães Ubiali7, Asheley Henrique Barbosa Pereira7, Helio Autran de Morais8, Alexander Welker Biondo9, Valéria Dutra1 [ + show more ]

J Venom Anim Toxins incl Trop Dis, 2022, 28:e20210074
Received: 04 July 2021 | Accepted: 27 August 2021 | Published online: 07 March 2022


Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiological agent of the disease coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in humans. SARS-CoV-2 has been identified in cats with or without clinical signs. Case presentation: We describe the pathological and molecular findings in a six-month-old asymptomatic cat with SARS-CoV-2 infection from Brazil, belonging to a human family with COVID-19 cases. The pool of nasopharynx and oropharynx swabs at day zero tested positive by RT-qPCR for SARS-CoV-2. No amplification resulted from molecular testing performed on days 7 and 14. The cat was hit by a car and died 43 days after the molecular diagnosis. Immunohistochemistry at post-mortem examination demonstrated nucleocapsid protein in samples from the lungs, kidneys, nasal conchae, trachea, intestine, brain and spleen. Conclusion: The present study has highlighted the possibility that viral antigens can be detected by immunohistochemistry in multiple organs six weeks after infection, although the same tissues tested negative by RT-PCR.


Keywords: Coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; Pets; Cats; Disease transmission.

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