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Reply to: The role of pets in SARS-CoV-2 transmission: an exploratory analysis.


Galmiche S, Charmet T, Mailles A, Fontanet A.

We have read with great interest the work published by Teixeira and colleagues [1]. In this case–control study with a test-negative design in outpatients with flu-like symptoms, people with positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR reported more frequent exposure to cats or dogs in the residence than negative controls, with an odds ratio of 1.29 (95% confidence interval 1.08–1.54). This raises the question of how pets such as cats and dogs can contribute to transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in households. Indeed, while human-to-cat transmission was already documented early in the pandemic [2], as well as between-cats (but not between-dogs) [3], recent work has also shown possibility of pet-to-human transmission: a case study reporting positive testing in a veterinarian following examination of a cat infected by household members, with genetic findings supporting cat-to-human transmission [4], and an outbreak investigation in a pet shop identifying numerous linked infections in Syrian hamsters and humans [5]. Together with those findings, the study by Teixeira and colleagues suggests that cats and dogs contribute to SARS-CoV-2 transmission in households. Here, we report results from a case–control study conducted in France on the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection associated with living with cats or dogs.

More information at doi: 10.1007/s15010-022-01951-3

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