Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections in domestic animals have occurred from the beginning of the pandemic to the present time. Therefore, from the perspective of One Health, investigating this topic is of global scientific and public interest.
Objectives: The present study aimed to determine the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in domestic animals whose owners had coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Methods: Nasopharyngeal and faecal samples were collected in Uruguay. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), we analysed the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Complete genomes were obtained using ARTIC enrichment and Illumina sequencing. Sera samples were used for virus neutralisation assays.
Findings: SARS-CoV-2 was detected in an asymptomatic dog and a cat. Viral genomes were identical and belonged to the P.6 Uruguayan SARS-CoV-2 lineage. Only antiserum from the infected cat contained neutralising antibodies against the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 strain and showed cross-reactivity against the Delta but not against the B.A.1 Omicron variant.
Main conclusions: Domestic animals and the human SARS-CoV-2 P.6 variant comparison evidence a close relationship and gene flow between them. Different SARS-CoV-2 lineages infect dogs and cats, and no specific variants are adapted to domestic animals. This first record of SARS-CoV-2 in domestic animals from Uruguay supports regular surveillance of animals close to human hosts.