Dog Coronavirus Found In Humans and Why You Shouldn't Worry

Dog Coronavirus Found In Humans And Why You Shouldn't WorryRelax, humans! I’m not going to start the next pandemic.

Scientists have found a new canine coronavirus in a handful of people hospitalised with pneumonia. This may sound alarming, but once we unpack it, you will see that there’s no reason to lose any sleep.

The discovery of the canine coronavirus in eight people at a hospital in Sarawak, Malaysia, was reported in Clinical Infectious Diseases by a group of highly regarded international scientists. So does this mean dogs can spread coronaviruses to humans?

The first thing to clarify is what canine coronavirus is. Importantly, it is quite distinct from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The coronavirus family can be divided into four groups of viruses: alpha, beta, gamma and delta coronaviruses. SARS-CoV-2 falls within the betacoronaviruses group, whereas the canine coronaviruses are in the entirely separate alphacoronavirus group.

Scientists have known about canine coronaviruses for almost 50 years. These viruses have existed in relative obscurity over most of this period, being of interest only to veterinary virologists and occasional dog owners. There are no previous reports of these viruses infecting people. But the sudden international spotlight on all coronaviruses is finding coronaviruses in places we haven’t looked before.

The canine coronavirus infections recently identified in people were actually discovered serendipitously. Scientists were not specifically looking for canine coronavirus, and the patients involved had long since recovered. The researchers were trying to develop a new test that could detect all kinds of coronaviruses at the same time – a so-called pan-CoV test.

After confirming the test worked on samples of viruses grown in laboratories, they tested it on 192 human swabs from hospitalised pneumonia patients in Malaysia. Nine of these samples tested positive for coronaviruses.

Further analysis showed that five out of the nine samples were ordinary human coronaviruses that can cause colds. But, surprisingly, four of the samples were canine coronavirus. Further study of patients from the same hospital revealed four more positive patients.


 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

The researchers studied nose and throat swabs from all eight Malaysian patients to try to learn more about the canine coronaviruses. Samples were put onto dog cells in the lab to see if any live virus was present. Virus from a single sample replicated well, and virus particles could be seen using electron microscopy. The scientists were also able to sequence the virus’s genome.

The analysis found that this canine coronavirus was closely related to a few different alphacoronaviruses – including those from pigs and cats – and showed it had not previously been identified anywhere else.

No evidence of onward spread

Was canine coronavirus responsible for the pneumonia in the patients? At the moment, we simply can’t tell. Seven out of eight patients were simultaneously infected with another virus, either adenovirus, influenza or parainfluenza virus. We know that all of these viruses can cause pneumonia by themselves, so it is more likely that these were responsible for the disease. We can say there is an association between pneumonia and canine coronavirus in these patients, but we can’t say it is the cause.

There have been concerns that the canine coronavirus identified in these Malaysian patients could spread from person to person, resulting in a wider outbreak. What many headlines don’t clarify is that these human infections actually occurred in 2017 and 2018. This makes the likelihood of a canine coronavirus outbreak from this source even lower as there is no evidence of onward spread in the intervening three to four years.

As coronaviruses have become the centre of attention and we search for related viruses, we are inevitably going to find more positive samples in unexpected places. The vast majority of these will be of academic interest only, and need not raise alarm. However, it is critical that surveillance for new coronaviruses continues and expands so that we have the best possible chance of identifying significant cross-species jumps in the future.The Conversation

About The Author

Sarah L Caddy, Clinical Research Fellow in Viral Immunology and Veterinary Surgeon, University of Cambridge

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

 

You May Also Like

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfifrdehiiditjakomsnofaptruessvtrvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

Marie T. Russell's Daily Inspiration

INNERSELF VOICES

Becoming Parents: A Path to Transformation
Becoming Parents: A Path to Transformation
by Barry and Joyce Vissell
For almost every couple, the thought of bringing a child into this world triggers a whole range of…
I Was Born during the late Eastern Han Dynasty...
I Was Born during the late Eastern Han Dynasty...
by Dena Merriam
I was born during the late Eastern Han Dynasty (25 CE-220 CE) into a family of ardent Daoists who…
Healing Otherness: Your Changes, Reflected in Community
Healing Otherness: Your Changes, Reflected in Community
by Stacee L. Reicherzer PhD
Seeking out a community of healing, being exploited in it, perhaps assuming the shame and…
Horoscope Week: June 14 - 20, 2021
Horoscope Current Week: June 14 - 20, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
Being A Better Person
Being A Better Person
by Marie T. Russell
"He makes me want to be a better person." As I reflected on this statement later, I realized that…
Modeling Behavior is the Best Teacher: Respect Must Be Mutual
Modeling Behavior is the Best Teacher: Respect Must Be Mutual
by Carmen Viktoria Gamper
Socially respected behavior is learned behavior and some of it (for instance, table manners) varies…
Separation and Isolation vs. Community and Compassion
Separation and Isolation vs. Community and Compassion
by Lawrence Doochin
When we are in community, we automatically fall into service to those in need because we know them…
The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday
The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday
by Jason Redman
Ambushes don’t just happen in combat. In business and life, an ambush is a catastrophic event that…

MOST READ

Becoming Parents: A Path to Transformation
Becoming Parents: A Path to Transformation
by Barry and Joyce Vissell
For almost every couple, the thought of bringing a child into this world triggers a whole range of…
image
IRS hitting you with a fine or late fee? Don't fret – a consumer tax advocate says you still have options
by Rita W. Green, Instructor of Accountancy, University of Memphis
Tax Day has come and gone, and you think you filed your return in the nick of time. But several…
From deadly enemy to covidiots: Words matter when talking about COVID-19
Words matter when talking about COVID-19
by Ruth Derksen, PhD, Philosophy of Language, Faculty of Applied Science, Emeritus, University of British Columbia
So much has been said and written about the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve been flooded with metaphors,…
How Well Your Immune System Works Can Depend On The Time Of Day
How Well Your Immune System Works Can Depend On The Time Of Day
by Annie Curtis, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences
When microorganisms – such as bacteria or viruses – infect us, our immune system jumps into action.…
A teen reads her phone with a confused look on her face
Why teens have a hard time finding truth online
by Stanford
A new national study shows a woeful inability by high schoolers to detect fake news on the internet.
image
The mystery of long COVID: up to 1 in 3 people who catch the virus suffer for months. Here's what we know so far
by Vanessa Bryant, Laboratory Head, Immunology Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Most people who get COVID suffer the common symptoms of fever, cough and breathing problems, and…
image
4 ways to have a positive experience when engaging with social media
by Lisa Tang, PhD Candidate in Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph
Have you ever thought about all the ways social media is woven within your everyday life? This has…
An Open Letter to the Entire Human Family
An Open Letter to the Entire Human Family
by Ruchira Avatar Adi Da Samraj
This is the moment of truth for humankind. Critical choices must now be made in order to protect…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.