SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in Household Domestic Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo)

SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in Household Domestic Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) Jacobo Giner, Sergio Villanueva-Saz, Ana Pilar Tobajas, María Dolores Pérez, Ana González, Maite Verde, Andrés Yzuel, Ana García-García, Víctor Taleb, Erandi Lira-Navarrete, Ramón Hurtado-Guerrero, Julián Pardo, Llipsy Santiago, José Ramón Paño, Héctor Ruíz, Delia Lacasta and Antonio Fernández, Animals 2021, 11, 667.

Animal infections with SARS-CoV-2 have been reported in different countries and several animal species have been proven to be susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2 both naturally and by experimental infection. Moreover, infections under natural conditions in more than 20 mink farms have been reported where humans could have been the source of infection for minks. However, little information is available about the susceptibility of pet animals under natural conditions and currently there is no SARS-CoV-2 epidemiological assessment occurrence in household ferrets. In this study, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was evaluated in serum samples obtained from 127 household ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) in the Province of Valencia (Spain). Two ferrets tested positive to SARS-CoV-2 (1.57%) by in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay based on receptor binding domain (RBD) of Spike antigen. Furthermore, anti-RBD SARS-CoV-2 antibodies persisted at detectable levels in a seropositive SARS-CoV-2 domestic ferret beyond 129 days since the first time antibodies were detected. This study reports for the first time the evidence of household pet ferrets exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in Spain to date.

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