Rotavirus

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Commercially-available ELISA assay for rotaviral detection in dogs

Canine group A & C (GC/KS05 subtype G3P3) rotavirus are a zoonotic reoviridae which cause mild diarrhea, primarily in young dogs[1][2].

Canine rotavirus infection is considered a minor disease in young dogs (pups) because it is usually mild or unapparent; however, serologic investigations have shown a high prevalence of antibodies to rotavirus in adult dogs[3]. Only a few cases of gastroenteritis due to this virus have been reported[4]. Cases in puppies are characterized by mild gastroenteritis and isolation of virus and passage in unaffected puppies leads to diarrhea in experimental pups[5].

Although most canine rotaviral infections are considered host-specific[6], cases of human outbreaks associated with canine G3P strains have been reported in South-east Asia[7], underpinning the hypothesis that interspecies transmission or re-assortment between animals and humans viruses can occur[8].

Other causes of diarrhea are commonly involved and it is thought that primary diseases in dogs is uncommon (less than 2%) of cases[9].

Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms of acute-onset limited diarrhea in young puppies, confirmed by isolation and viral identification using ELISA[10], electron microscopy or PCR assays[11].

A differential diagnosis would include canine parvovirus, Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin A, Escherichia coli[12], intestinal nematodes and protozoa, canine enteric coronavirus and canine distemper virus.

Treatment is usually non-specific, with fluid and electrolyte replacement via enteral or parenteral administration.

In outbreaks associated with kenneled dogs, adequate sanitation and quarantine of affected pups is essential to minimize the spread of the disease.

Rotaviral vaccines are not currently available as a preventative measure in dogs.

References

  1. De Grazia S et al (2007) Canine-origin G3P[3] rotavirus strain in child with acute gastroenteritis. Emerg Infect Dis 13(7):1091-1093
  2. Otto P et al (1999) Demonstration of group C rotaviruses in fecal samples of diarrheic dogs in Germany. Arch Virol 144(12):2467-2473
  3. Mochizuki M et al (1986) Seroepizootiologic studies on rotavirus infections of dogs and cats. Nippon Juigaku Zasshi 48:957–964
  4. Martella V et al (2001) Isolation and genetic characterization of two G3P5A[3] canine rotavirus strains in Italy. J Virol Methods 96:43–49
  5. Kang BK et al (2007) Genetic characterization of canine rotavirus isolated from a puppy in Korea and experimental reproduction of disease. J Vet Diagn Invest 19(1):78-83
  6. Taniguchi K et al (1994) Species specificity and interspecies relatedness in VP4 genotypes demonstrated by VP4 sequence analysis of equine, feline, and canine rotavirus strains. Virology 200(2):390-400
  7. Wu FT et al (2012) Putative canine origin of rotavirus strain detected in a child with diarrhea, Taiwan. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 12(2):170-173
  8. Matthijnssens J et al (2011) Multiple re-assortment and interspecies transmission events contribute to the diversity of feline, canine and feline/canine-like human group A rotavirus strains. Infect Genet Evol 11(6):1396-1406
  9. Yeşilbağ K et al (2007) Etiological role of viruses in puppies with diarrhoea. Vet Rec 161(5):169-170
  10. Rimmelzwaan GF et al (1991) The use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay systems for serology and antigen detection in parvovirus, coronavirus and rotavirus infections in dogs in The Netherlands. Vet Microbiol 26(1-2):25-40
  11. Finlaison DS et al (1995) Faecal viruses of dogs--an electron microscope study. Vet Microbiol 46(1-3):295-305
  12. Turk J et al (1998) Examination for heat-labile, heat-stable, and Shiga-like toxins and for the eaeA gene in Escherichia coli isolates obtained from dogs dying with diarrhea: 122 cases (1992-1996). J Am Vet Med Assoc 212(11):1735-1736