15 May 2020

Infection of dogs with SARS-CoV-2

Malik Peiris, Co-Director at HKU-Pasteur, reveals in Nature that SARS-CoV-2 can pass from human to dogs: Infection of dogs with SARS-CoV-2

In this study, Prof. Peiris reported that the two first dogs tested positive to the new coronavirus caught the infection from their owner. An analysis of viral genetic sequences from the dogs showed them to be identical to those in the infected people. 

Although the analysis confirms that people with COVID-19 can infect dogs, the probability of this happening is low. In the study only 2 of the 15 dogs who lived with infected people caught the disease.

The study showed no evidence that dogs can pass the infection to other dogs or people, but it is impossible to be certain in which direction the virus traveled “so we have to keep an open mind”, says Peiris.