Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Contagious equine flu virus infecting dogs across U.S. is isolated by Cornell researchers

29.09.2005


A Cornell University virologist has isolated a highly contagious equine flu virus that is spreading a sometimes-fatal respiratory flu among dogs, and is responsible for a major dog-flu outbreak in New York state. There is no evidence that the virus could infect people.



According to a paper published in the Sept. 26 issue of Science Express, the online version of Science magazine, this is the first time an equine flu virus has been found to jump species.

The equine influenza virus, H3N8, was isolated at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine after University of Florida researchers sent fluid and tissue samples from greyhound race dogs that had died from a respiratory illness at a Florida racetrack in January 2004.


"Of all animals, dogs have the most intimate contact with humans on a daily basis, so the potential for human infection has to be in the back of our minds," said Ed Dubovi, director of the virology center at Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory, who isolated the virus from the University of Florida samples.

Still, he added, there is no evidence of the virus jumping to humans, and there is no expectation of it doing so. It is possible the equine virus has been infecting dogs for some time, although the symptoms are very similar and could be mistaken for common "kennel cough," a bacterial disease related to pertussis (whooping cough) in children. Nevertheless, the paper cautions that the newly discovered flu virus must be closely monitored.

With close to 100 percent of dogs exposed to the virus becoming infected and about 80 percent of infected dogs showing symptoms, the flu could be spreading throughout the country. It was originally documented in greyhounds at tracks and kennels but now is infecting all breeds of dogs. Ongoing testing is being done to track the spread of the virus to different regions of the country.

"Right now, we have a major outbreak of this disease in all breeds of dogs in New York state," said Dubovi, noting that symptoms can include high fever and a respiratory infection that lasts a few weeks, although 1 to 5 percent die from related hemorrhagic pneumonia. From January to May 2005, outbreaks occurred at 20 racetracks in 10 states (Florida, Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, West Virginia, Kansas, Iowa, Colorado, Rhode Island and Massachusetts), according to the paper.

"This infection will become a major concern for all dog owners, since 100 percent of dogs are susceptible to infection by this virus ," said Dubovi. "With 50 million pet dogs in this country, even if you have 1 percent mortality, this is going to result in a number of dogs dying from it."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta sequenced the virus’ entire genome and found all the segments were from the equine virus. This is unusual, because flu viruses will often swap genetic material with other flu viruses when they jump species. For a new virus to enter another species it must overcome a number of barriers, such as finding a cell receptor to bind to in order to enter the cell and to reproduce sufficiently in the new host.

"There are probably many examples of viruses jumping species, but then it becomes a dead-end issue," said Dubovi. Researchers have long known that equine flu was capable of growing in dogs, since scientists experimenting with equine influenza use cell lines from canine kidney cells.

When Dubovi first received the University of Florida samples, he and his colleagues isolated a virus and determined that it was an influenza not typically found in dogs. The next step was to test to see if it was an avian flu virus, like the virulent H5N1 that has jumped from birds to humans over the last few years. A highly sensitive test -- called a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) that amplifies and detects small amounts of DNA or RNA in a blood or tissue sample -- ruled out avian flu strains H5 and H7.

The isolate was then sent to the CDC where Ruben Donis, Cornell Ph.D. ’87, one of Dubovi’s former graduate students and currently chief of molecular genetics for the influenza branch, found that it tested positive for equine influenza virus. Donis also ruled out the possibility that the sample had been contaminated with equine virus from another source.

The study by lead author, Cynda Crawford, an immunologist at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, was funded by the State of Florida’s Division of Parimutuel Wagering in response to ongoing respiratory problems in racing greyhounds.

Krishna Ramanujan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers reveal new details on aged brain, Alzheimer's and dementia
21.11.2017 | Allen Institute

nachricht Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development
21.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Silicatforschung ISC

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From Hannover around the world and to the Mars: LZH delivers laser for ExoMars 2020

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material

21.11.2017 | Materials Sciences

Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos

21.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>