An Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine Is Effective In Its First Trials In Cats


Even though it has been shown that pets may be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, normally the disease is asymptomatic or mild. To anticipate hostile epidemiological conditions in the long run, researchers on the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) have developed an experimental vaccine that has been effective in preliminary trials. feline,

“In our study, we show high efficacy of this vaccine in limiting viral replication of SARS-CoV-2 in cats, in controlling transmission between animals and stopping them from serving as potential sources of infection. will help,” says Sandra Barroso, a researcher at UCM’s Viral Immunology and Preventive Medicine Service.

it’s study The experiments, the outcomes of which have been published in ‘Research in Veterinary Science’, were carried out on the Veterinary Health Monitoring Center (VISAVET) of UCM’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in collaboration with the Institute’s Microbial Immunology Unit. Health Carlos III, as a part of the project ‘Studying the potential impact of COVID-19 on pets and lynx’.

a test in cats

In the primary phase of the trial, two animals were vaccinated intramuscularly with the experimental vaccine. Cats were monitored for possible secondary reactions and serum samples were also taken to evaluate antibody production. Greater than 30 days after vaccination, the animals were transferred, together with two control animals, to the middle’s High Biosafety Laboratory, where they were infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus to guage disease response.

To cut back the chance to research staff, the animals were placed in an isolator that filtered the exhaust air. Felines, along with receiving every day veterinary care, had environmental enrichment to maximise their well-being. The duration of infection and assessment of disease response was 21 days.

“Our experimental vaccine has proven to be effective on this regard, because within the case of one in every of the vaccinated animals, the infection was completely avoided, while in the opposite it was confined to the world of ​​the upper respiratory tract and with none excretion of the virus. infectious”, point the UCM researchers.

virus response

Each vaccinated animals had a powerful neutralizing antibody-based immune response, which helped control infection in vaccinated humans.

“While the COVID-19 disease is currently not of great relevance in veterinary medicine, the continued presence of mutations within the virus may result in the looks of recent variants that clearly affect animals,” says Barroso.

“Unfortunately, we cannot rule out latest scenarios wherein the epidemiology of the disease changes. Because of this, it is vital to have control and prevention tools for various susceptible species”, concludes the researcher.


Barroso-Arevalo et al. A subunit vaccine candidate based on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 inhibits infectious virus shedding in cats. ‘Research in Veterinary Science’ (2022)