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Equine and canine influenza: a review of current events

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 April 2010

E. Paul J. Gibbs*
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL32608, USA
Tara C. Anderson
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL32608, USA
*Corresponding author. E-mail:


In the past decade, the pandemics of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 and the novel H1N1 influenza have both illustrated the potential of influenza viruses to rapidly emerge and spread widely in animals and people. Since both of these viruses are zoonotic, these pandemics have been the driving force behind a renewed commitment by the medical and veterinary professions to practice One World, One Health for the control of infectious diseases. The discovery in 2004 that an equine origin H3N8 influenza virus was the cause of an extensive epidemic of respiratory disease in dogs in the USA came as a surprise; at that time dogs were thought to be refractory to infection with influenza viruses. In 2007, a second emerging canine influenza was confirmed in Korea, but this time the causal virus was an H3N2 avian influenza virus. This review focuses on recent events associated with equine and canine influenza viruses. While these viruses do not appear to be zoonotic, the close association between humans and dogs, and to a lesser extent horses, demands that we develop better surveillance and control strategies for emerging diseases in companion animals within the context of One World, One Health.

Review Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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