Dogs Could be the Main Source of Pandemic Influenza In Future

June 11, 2018  Source: Ddu 138

A scientific team from the Center for Research on Influenza Pathogenesis (CRIP), Icahn School of Medicine from Mt. Sinai, New York have found that dogs would be a probable reservoir for a pandemic influenza in future. They proved experimentally that the influenza virus is transmitted through main animal hosts such as birds, poultry, pigs, horses followed by canines and becomes more diverse among the canine group. A genomic study of varied influenza viruses was conducted by obtaining them from canines in Southern China (Guangxi autonomous region) during 2013-2015.

Adolfo García-Sastre, the principal investigator cum director of the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute of this study said, "The majority of pandemics have been associated with pigs as an intermediate host between avian viruses and human hosts. In this study, we identified influenza viruses jumping from pigs into dogs."

Adolfo García-Sastre further stated, "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."

Dr. García-Sastre suggested that it is high time to think about varied ways to restrict the influenza transmission among the dogs. He said, "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. There are attempts to restrict influenza virus in pigs through vaccination and one could consider vaccination for dogs."

By Ddu