A one-year extensive molecular survey on SARS-CoV-2 in companion animals of Turkey shows a lack of evidence for viral circulation in pet dogs and cats

Kadi H., Kuruçay H. N., Elhag A. E., Dogan F., Yildirim S., Tutuncu H., ...More

VETERINARY AND ANIMAL SCIENCE, vol.19, 2023 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.vas.2022.100280
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Companion animals, COVID-19, RT-qPCR, SARS-CoV-2, Turkey
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


Current evidence have now demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 infects a wide array of mammalian animals; however, the full range of hosts and the viral circulation in companion animals remains to be clarified. In this context, as no such evidenced cases have been reported from Turkey, we aimed to screen for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in housed dogs and cats clinically evaluated for respiratory symptoms and reared in different locations of Samsun province in the black sea region of Turkey from July 2020 to July 2021. Nasal swabs were collected from a total of 415 pets (65 cats and 350 dogs) aged between 1 and 9 years old. All the specimens were tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA presence by real-time RT-PCR targeting two genomic regions of SARS-CoV-2, but none showed positive results. Our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 does not circulate in local pets and is not responsible for respiratory symptoms. However, further comprehensive molecular and serological surveys are required to have a better picture of the zoonotic, reverse zoonotic and pathogenic consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey.