Hyderabad: Reserves of influenza virus are jumping from pigs to canines according to a study published in mBio, which states that there can be a future influenza pandemic due to canines.
While the influenza virus has been associated with poultry and pigs and has transferred into humans, the study of Global Health and Emerging Pathogens has found that there is a shift from pigs to dogs in China.
Influenza A viruses have been limited to canines and there has been very limited transmission to humans according to medical data available. The alarm bells are ringing because scientists found H3N2 influenza virus in farmed dogs in China which initiated the study. The researchers found that the virus from the poultry had jumped to pigs and was now infecting dogs.
Researchers who have been studying dogs in Asian region found that H1N1, H3N2 and H3N8 influenza virus were present in dogs and interacting with each other.
Dr D. Sampat, former in charge at the Institute of Preventive Medicine, said, “The study is an indication that in India too we have to take this up. The dog population in cities and rural areas is equally high. An influenza virus in them can create a lot of panic.”
Pet dogs having respiratory symptoms must be evaluated properly in veterinary clinics.
Presently, the Indian population has developed immunity to the H1N1. With another host for the influenza virus, there is a need to be alert as there can be mutations which will be difficult to understand and control.