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Keywords:

  • Communicable diseases;
  • emerging;
  • Dog diseases;
  • influenza A virus;
  • occupational exposure;
  • seroepidemiologic studies;
  • zoonoses

Objectives

The zoonotic potential of H3N8 canine influenza virus (CIV) has not been previously examined; yet considering the popularity of dogs as a companion animal and the zoonotic capabilities of other influenza viruses, the public health implications are great. This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of antibodies against CIV among a US cohort.

Design

A cross-sectional seroepidemiological study was conducted between 2007 and 2010.

Setting

Recruitments primarily occurred in Iowa and Florida. Participants were enrolled at dog shows, or at their home or place of employment.

Sample

Three hundred and four adults occupationally exposed to dogs and 101 non-canine-exposed participants completed a questionnaire and provided a blood sample.

Main outcome measures

Microneutralization and neuraminidase inhibition assays were performed to detect human sera antibodies against A/Canine/Iowa/13628/2005(H3N8). An enzyme-linked lectin assay (ELLA) was adapted to detect antibodies against a recombinant N8 neuraminidase protein from A/Equine/Pennsylvania/1/2007(H3N8).

Results

For all assays, no significant difference in detectable antibodies was observed when comparing the canine-exposed subjects to the non-canine-exposed subjects.

Conclusion

While these results do not provide evidence for cross-species CIV transmission, influenza is predictably unpredictable. People frequently exposed to ill dogs should continually be monitored for novel zoonotic CIV infections.