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.
A cross-sectional seroepidemiological study was conducted between 2007 and 2010.
Recruitments primarily occurred in Iowa and Florida. Participants were enrolled at dog shows, or at their home or place of employment.
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).
For all assays, no significant difference in detectable antibodies was observed when comparing the canine-exposed subjects to the non-canine-exposed subjects.
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.