Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

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

Jarrah, Samar AfifKmetiuk, Louise BachCarvalho, Otávio Valério deSousa, Alessandra Tammy Hayakawa Ito deSouza, Valeria Regia FrancoNakazato, LucianoColodel, Edson MoletaSantos, Andrea Pires dosPettan-Brewer, ChristinaHahn, Rosane ChristineSlhessarenko, Renata DezengriniUbiali, Daniel GuimarãesPereira, Asheley Henrique BarbosaMorais, Helio Autran deBiondo, Alexander WelkerDutra, Valéria

Abstract 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.

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