Seroprevalence of dogs in Hong Kong to human and canine influenza viruses

11 Apr 2019

Su, W., Kinoshita, R., Gray, J., Ji, Y., Yu, D., Peiris, J. S. M., Yen, H.-L.

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As a unique mammalian host for influenza A viruses, dogs support the transmission of canine influenza viruses (CIVs) of H3N8 and H3N2 subtypes and are susceptible to infection by avian and human influenza viruses. A cross-sectional serological study was performed to assess the exposure history of dogs in Hong Kong to CIV and human influenza viruses. Among 555 companion dogs sampled in 2015–2017, 1.3 per cent and 9.5 per cent showed hemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody titre to CIV of H3N8 or H3N2 subtypes and to A(H1N1)pdm09 human influenza viruses, respectively. Among 182 shelter dogs sampled in 2017–2018, none showed HI titre to CIV and 1.1 per cent reacted to H3N2 human influenza virus. There was a poor correlation between ELISA and HI test results. The higher seropositive rates to human influenza viruses suggests that the contact dynamics of dogs under urban settings may affect the exposure risk to human influenza viruses and CIVs.