Canine adenovirus

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Alveolar macrophages, immunopositive for canine adenovirus (CAV) antigen[1]

Canine adenovirus is a virus commonly associated with kennel cough in dogs[2].

Two variants of canine adenoviruses exist; type 1 and 2.

  • Type 2 - associated with kennel cough[4], conjunctivitis[5]

With type 2 adenoviral infections, co-infections with canine respiratory coronavirus, canine influenza virus[6] and Bordetella bronchiseptica and Mycoplasma cynos[7] are common[8].

Although adenovirus type 2 is usually associated with upper respiratory disease, fatal canine adenoviral pneumonia has been reported in dogs[9], presenting with lethargy, dyspnea, nasal discharge, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Coinfection with Escherichia coli was involved.

Diagnosis is based on PCR isolation of virus[10] or ELISA assays from feces[11], urine and tracheal washes.

There is no specific antiviral therapy for this disease, although broad-spectrum antimicrobial drugs are recommended in febrile cases.

All triannual core vaccines include attenuated live CAdV-2, which provides immunity to CAdV-1 and CAdV-2[12][13][14]. CAdV-1 was initially used in a vaccine for dogs, but corneal edema was a common complication.


  1. Damián M et al (2005) Immunohistochemical detection of antigens of distemper, adenovirus and parainfluenza viruses in domestic dogs with pneumonia. J Comp Pathol 133(4):289-293
  2. Mochizuki M et al (2008) Etiologic study of upper respiratory infections of household dogs. J Vet Med Sci 70(6):563-569
  3. Decaro N et al (2008) Canine adenoviruses and herpesvirus. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 38(4):799-814
  4. Gür S & Acar A (2009) A retrospective investigation of canine adenovirus (CAV) infection in adult dogs in Turkey. J S Afr Vet Assoc 80(2):84-86
  5. Ledbetter EC et al (2009) Virologic survey of dogs with naturally acquired idiopathic conjunctivitis. J Am Vet Med Assoc 235(8):954-959
  6. Ditchfield J et al (1962) Association of canine adenovirus (Toronto A 26/61) with an outbreak of laryngotracheitis ('kennel cough'). Can Vet J 3:238–247
  7. Chvala S et al (2007) Simultaneous canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus type 2, and Mycoplasma cynos infection in a dog with pneumonia. Vet Pathol 44(4):508-512
  8. Ellis J et al (2011) Seroepidemiology of respiratory (group 2) canine coronavirus, canine parainfluenza virus, and Bordetella bronchiseptica infections in urban dogs in a humane shelter and in rural dogs in small communities. Can Vet J 52(8):861-868
  9. Almes KM et al (2010) Fatal canine adenoviral pneumonia in two litters of Bulldogs. J Vet Diagn Invest 22(5):780-784
  10. Segura MM et al (2010) A real-time PCR assay for quantification of canine adenoviral vectors. J Virol Methods 163(1):129-136
  11. Chaturvedi U et al (2008) Detection of canine adenoviral infections in urine and faeces by the polymerase chain reaction. J Virol Methods 149(2):260-263
  12. Lehar C et al (2008) Demonstration of 1-year duration of immunity for attenuated Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccines in dogs. Vet Ther 9(4):257-262
  13. Taguchi M et al (2012) Booster effect of canine distemper, canine parvovirus infection and infectious canine hepatitis combination vaccine in domesticated adult dogs. Microbiol Immunol 56(8):579-582
  14. Larson LJ & Schultz RD (2007) Three-year serologic immunity against canine parvovirus type 2 and canine adenovirus type 2 in dogs vaccinated with a canine combination vaccine. Vet Ther 8(4):305-310