Your veterinarian may find these latest findings of interest…
Fifteen years ago, researchers documented an influenza virus in a horse jumping into a dog, and this created the first circulating canine influenza viruses. Five years ago, researchers identified an avian-origin H3N2 canine influenza virus circulating in farmed dogs in Guangdong, China…
The present study
The viruses in the study were collected primarily from pet dogs presenting with respiratory symptoms at veterinary clinics. Dogs in certain regions of China, including Guangxi, are also raised for meat and street dogs roam freely, creating a more complex ecosystem for canine influenza virus transmission.
“In our study, what we have found is another set of viruses that come from swine that are originally avian in origin, and now they are jumping into dogs and have been reassorted with other viruses in dogs. We now have H1N1, H3N2, and H3N8 in dogs. They are starting to interact with each other. This is very reminiscent of what happened in swine ten years before the H1N1 pandemic.”
-Adolfo García-Sastre, PhD, director of the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute and principal investigator, Center for Research on Influenza Pathogenesis (CRIP), Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York City
A potential risk to both dogs and humans
“If there is a lot of immunity against these viruses, they will represent less of a risk, but we now have one more host in which influenza virus is starting to have a diverse genotypic and phenotypic characteristics, creating diversity in a host which is in very close contact to humans. The diversity in dogs has increased so much now that the type of combinations of viruses that can be created in dogs represent potential risk for a virus to jump to a dog into a human.”
A possible solution
The researchers say it is time to think about ways to restrict the circulation of the influenza virus in dogs…
“…one could consider vaccination for dogs.”
Journal reference: Chen Y, Trovão NS, Wang G, Zhao W, He P, Zhou H, Mo Y, Wei Z, Ouyang K, Huang W, García-Sastre A, Nelson MI. 2018. Emergence and evolution of novel reassortant influenza A viruses in canines in southern China. American Society for Microbiology, mBio 9:e00909-18. https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00909-18.