The first systematic surveillance of H3N2 canine influenza virus (CIV) in various dog populations in southern China revealed that the viruses were similar to recently isolated avian-origin strains in dogs and cats from Korea and elsewhere in China.
The researchers based their findings on canine nasal samples taken from dog farms in Guangzhou and Shenzen and from pet dogs.
They reported their findings in the Dec 20 issue of Infection, Genetics and Evolution. Serologic surveillance revealed that the infection rates for avian-origin H3N2 in farmed and pet dogs were 12.22% and 5.3%, respectively.
The authors suggested that the virus probably spread via close contact between infected dogs in different dog populations.
The group warned that virus circulation in a densely populated area with heavy animal trade poses a risk for pets and provides an environment for mutations and reassortment that could lead to new virus strains and possible threats to public health.