People could catch flu from dogs, scientists warn

Share

There are two main types of flu viruses that are known to circulate among dogs: the H3N8 virus, which was discovered in 2004 after it jumped from horses to dogs in the United States, and the H3N2 virus, which was discovered in 2007 after it jumped from birds to dogs in Asia. Five years ago, scientists uncovered viruses jumping between birds and dogs.

And so it was in 2009 - avian flu jumped to pigs, mixed with existing strains of the virus to create something different, then made the jump into unsuspecting humans.

According to a new study released this week by mBio, a journal published by the American Society for Microbiology, there could be a new pandemic of the deadly influenza virus, particularly Influenza A, transmitted by dogs and transferred to humans. "In this study, we identified influenza viruses jumping from pigs into dogs", study author Adolfo Garcia-Sastre said.

Influenza can jump among animal reservoirs where many different strains are located and these reservoirs serve as mixing bowls for the genetic diversity of strains, according to the researchers.

"The majority of pandemics have been associated with pigs as an intermediate host between avian viruses and human hosts", says one of the researchers, Adolfo García-Sastre, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai in NY. Scientists believe that the new family of pathogens belonging to the group of H1N1, is spread by airborne droplets and can infect dogs and pigs. They are starting to interact with each other. "This is very reminiscent of what happened in swine 10 years before the H1N1 pandemic", Garcia-Sastre said.

The dogs involved in the study were all from a single region in China, which is one reason not to panic yet - the picture may not be the same worldwide.

With flu vaccines on the rise every season, and with proper steps to lower the risk of the avian and swine flu from spreading in the past, there are still concerns with how to contain the furry pooches from becoming the source of the next pandemic. The researchers called these viruses "CIV-H1N1r", "CIV-H3N2r" and "CIV-H1N2r", (with "r" standing for "reassortant").

The team of researchers examined dogs that were experiencing respiratory problems and confirmed that around 15 percent of the dogs had the flu virus.

In China, dogs are often raised to be eaten but are also kept as pets, while free-roaming street dogs are also a factor in the spread of various canine diseases. As the report shows, these viruses can intermix and create new forms of the flu in the animal population that are unknown to human immune systems.

"The continued expansion of IAV (influenza A viruses) diversity in canines with high human contact rates requires enhanced surveillance and ongoing evaluation of emerging pandemic threats", the study read.

"The diversity in dogs has increased so much now that the type of combinations of viruses that can be created in dogs represent potential risk for a virus to jump to a dog into a human". They, in turn, can infect humans.

"The spread of influenza viruses among dogs is unsafe in that their level of genetic diversity is nearly as high as among men".

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Jennifer Lawrence is now dating someone outside of Hollywood
Lawrence said that she "can't wait to be married" and "would absolutely not f*** it up" if she finds the right person. The Oscar victor has previously been linked to ex-boyfriend Nicholas Hoult and Coldplay singer Chris Martin.

Double dose of Tour of Britain for Cumbria this year
The race is being organised by Sweetspot, which has organised the Tour of Britain and the 151km Women's Tour over the past three years.

Palestinian shot dead after throwing rock at Israeli soldier: Army
It was not immediately clear whether Tamimi died at the scene or after the soldiers took him away in an armoured vehicle. Israeli occupation forces killed another member of the Tamimi family in the occupied West Bank town of Nabi Saleh.

Woakes joins Stokes on England injury list
Subsequently, England and Wales Cricket Board ( ECB ) confirmed that both Ball and Stokes have started the recovery process. Ben Stokes became the first casualty when he was ruled out of the Scotland ODI owing to a hamstring injury.

Dillian Whyte gets huge fight in London next month
There's a massive incentive for me to wipe him out and show the world that I am ready to be the top man in the division. Parker is ranked as high as fifth with the WBO. "I'm really happy with how things have things have worked out.

US Kindergartens Are Teaching Nursery Rhymes About School Shootings
Somerville Public Schools did not reveal to HuffPost which school had the poster, but a statement to HuffPost from Mayor Joseph A. Parent Georgy Cohen spotted the poem taped to a classroom chalkboard at the school in the city of Somerville.

Halep too hot to handle for Muguruza in Paris
Halep is still chasing her first Grand Slam title. "This is one of my favourite tournaments and I'm looking forward to Saturday". She improved to 3-0 against her longtime pal and Fed Cup teammate Keys, including their US Open final last September.

Boris Johnson Praises Trump's 'Method in His Madness'
Everybody's going to be getting stuff on their gizmos through the Chinese system and not the American system. Pro bono publico, no bloody panic.

‘How to Train Your Dragon
However, the humans and dragons will have to unite to take down the villainous Grimmel the Grisly, who is voiced by F. For How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World , series director Dean DeBlois returns alongside the all-star cast.

Leaked concept art of Avengers 4 reveals team roster and uniforms
Infinity War is also now at $1.974 billion through Tuesday and is expected to cross the $2 billion mark early next week. In another leaked image, Thanos is seen carrying a new double-blade weapon and sporting new, reinforced battle armour.

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.