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Science. 2005 Oct 21;310(5747):482-5. Epub 2005 Sep 26.

Transmission of equine influenza virus to dogs.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


Molecular and antigenic analyses of three influenza viruses isolated from outbreaks of severe respiratory disease in racing greyhounds revealed that they are closely related to H3N8 equine influenza virus. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the canine influenza virus genomes form a monophyletic group, consistent with a single interspecies virus transfer. Molecular changes in the hemagglutinin suggested adaptive evolution in the new host. The etiologic role of this virus in respiratory disease was supported by the temporal association of rising antibody titers with disease and by experimental inoculation studies. The geographic expansion of the infection and its persistence for several years indicate efficient transmission of canine influenza virus among greyhounds. Evidence of infection in pet dogs suggests that this infection may also become enzootic in this population.

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