Kamel, M.S.; El-Sayed, A.A.; Munds, R.A.; Verma, M.S. Interactions between Humans and Dogs during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Recent Updates and Future Perspectives. Animals 2023, 13, 524. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13030524
Date of this Version
SARS-CoV-2; diagnosis; COVID-19; companion; pets; bio-detection; social distancing; infection; epidemiology; ACE2
COVID-19 is one of the deadliest epidemics. This pandemic is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), but the role of dogs in spreading the disease in human society is poorly understood. This review sheds light on the limited susceptibility of dogs to COVID-19 infections which is likely attributed to the relatively low levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in the respiratory tract and the phylogenetic distance of ACE2 in dogs from the human ACE2 receptor. The low levels of ACE2 affect the binding affinity between spike and ACE2 proteins resulting in it being uncommon for dogs to spread the disease. To demonstrate the role of dogs in spreading COVID-19, we reviewed the epidemiological studies and prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in dogs. Additionally, we discussed the use of detection dogs as a rapid and reliable method for effectively discriminating between SARS-CoV-2 infected and non-infected individuals using different types of samples (secretions, saliva, and sweat). We considered the available information on COVID-19 in the human–dog interfaces involving the possibility of transmission of COVID-19 to dogs by infected individuals and vice versa, the human–dog behavior changes, and the importance of preventive measures because the risk of transmission by domestic dogs remains a concern.