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J Vet Med Sci. 2011 Jan;73(1):125-7. Epub 2010 Aug 25.

Distribution of influenza virus sialoreceptors on upper and lower respiratory tract in horses and dogs.

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  • 1Epizootic Research Center, Equine Research Institute, Japan Racing Association, Tochigi, Japan.


It is strongly suspected that equine influenza virus (EIV) is the origin of canine influenza virus (CIV, H3N8), which was first isolated in U.S.A. in 2004, on the basis of phylogenetic analyses. Although the distribution of influenza virus sialoreceptors seems to be associated with this interspecies transmission, there have been scant data of comparison about distributions of sialoreceptors on the whole respiratory tract between horses and dogs. We examined the histological distribution of influenza virus sialoreceptors on the upper and lower respiratory tract in detail in both animals using double lectin staining with Maackia amurensis (specific for SAα2,3Gal) and Sambucus sieboldiana (specific for SAα2,6Gal). SAα2,3Gal was observed on the surface of ciliated epithelial cells in the nasal mucosa, trachea and bronchus in both animals. The results may indicate that dogs are susceptible to EIV without alteration of receptor binding specificity.

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