The dynamics of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in cats naturally exposed to virus reveals an increase in antibody activity after re-infection
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 is the causative agent of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in humans. To date, little is known about the persistence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in animals under natural conditions, in particular susceptible pets such as cat. This study reports the detection and monitoring of the humoral response against SARS-CoV-2 including the detection of immunoglobulins G specific for receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and neutralizing antibodies by virus neutralization assay. Results showed that these antibodies last longer than 16 months in two naturally apparently healthy infected cats with the absence of clinicopathological findings during the follow-up. Moreover, re-infection is also possible with an important increase in virus neutralization test titers in both animals with no evident systemic signs found during each physical examination and with values of hematologic and biochemical parameters inside the normal reference intervals. Our results confirm a slow but progressive decrease of the kinetics and immunity of neutralizing antibodies in cats after the infection. Furthermore, similar to humans SARS-CoV-2 reinfection can stimulate an increase of the neutralizing antibodies determined by these two serological techniques in domestic cats.