Severe sars-cov-2 infection in a cat with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Francisco R. Carvallo, Mathias Martins, Lok R. Joshi, Leonardo C. Caserta, Patrick K. Mitchell, Thomas Cecere, Sandy Hancock, Erin L. Goodrich, Julia Murphy, Diego G. Diel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), has claimed millions of human lives worldwide since the emergence of the zoonotic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in China in December 2019. Notably, most severe and fatal SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans have been associated with underlying clinical conditions, including diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases. Here, we describe a case of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection in a domestic cat (Felis catus) that presented with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a chronic heart condition that has been described as a comorbidity of COVID-19 in humans and that is prevalent in domestic cats. The lung and heart of the affected cat presented clear evidence of SARS-CoV-2 replication, with histological lesions similar to those observed in humans with COVID-19 with high infectious viral loads being recovered from these organs. The study highlights the potential impact of comorbidities on the outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection in animals and provides important information that may contribute to the development of a feline model with the potential to recapitulate the clinical outcomes of severe COVID-19 in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1510
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cat
  • Comorbidity
  • COVID-19
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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