They develop a prototype covid vaccine for cats

They develop a prototype covid vaccine for cats

The Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) published in the scientific journal “Research in Veterinary Science”, a study showing the effectiveness of a prototype vaccine against the coronavirus in cats.

“In our study, we showed a high efficacy of a prototype vaccine to reduce viral replication of SARS-CoV-2 in cats, which would help control transmission between animals and prevent them from serving as potential sources of infection,” Indica Sandra Parosuriores, researcher in viral immunology UCM’s Preventive Medicine Service.

This pilot study, which was conducted at the Veterinary Health Surveillance Center (VISAVET) of the UCM College of Veterinary Medicine, in collaboration with the Microbial Immunology Unit of the Carlos III Health Institute, is part of a project studying the potential impact of COVID on domestic animals and lynxes.

In the first phase of testing, two animals were vaccinated by intramuscular injection using the vaccine prototype. Cats were monitored for possible secondary reactions and serum samples were also taken to assess antibody production.

Approximately 35 days after vaccination, the animals were transferred to the center’s tertiary (level 3) biosafety laboratory with two control animals, where they were infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus for disease response assessment.

They develop a prototype covid vaccine for cats

To reduce the risk to the research team, the animals were kept in insulation that filtered the exhaust air. Animals, in addition to receiving daily veterinary care, have ecological enrichment for maximum well-being. The duration of the infection period and disease response assessment was 21 days.


“Our vaccine prototype has shown its efficacy in this regard, because in the case of one of the vaccinated animals, infection was completely avoided, while in the other infection was limited to the upper respiratory region and the infectious virus was not secreted,” the UCM researchers point out.

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The vaccinated animals had a strong immune response based on neutralizing antibodies which, as happens in vaccinated humans, helped control the infection.

Although Covid disease is currently not of great importance in veterinary medicine, the constant emergence of mutations in the virus can lead to the emergence of new variants that have already affected animals. Unfortunately, we cannot rule out new scenarios in which the epidemiology of the disease changes. Thus, it is important to have monitoring and prevention tools for the various susceptible species,” concludes Barroso Arevalo.

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