Canine enteric coronavirus

From Dog

Canine enteric coronavirus is a virus associated with diarrhea and systemic disease in dogs.

The first observation of canine coronavirus (CCoV) infection was reported in 1974, from dogs with acute enteritis[1].

Until 2005, CCoVs were considered to be mild enteropathogens. In 2005, a virulent variant causing systemic disease in pups and mortality was first recognized in Italy[2]. This virulent biotype has been named canine pantropic coronavirus in reference to its systemic distribution in internal organs Detection of this virus is by PCR assay[3].

Dogs seropositive for enteric CCoVs are still susceptible to pantropic viruses, but the clinical signs are moderate by comparison with those in seronegative dogs, probably owing to partial cross-protection induced by antibodies against enteric CCoV[4]. During infection with the enteric CCoV, the virus remains restricted to the gastrointestinal tract. The highly virulent pantropic CCoV is detected at high titres in lungs, spleen, liver, kidney, and brain[5].

Clinical signs consist of fever, lethargy, haemorrhagic diarrhoea, severe lymphopenia, and neurological signs followed by death[6]. Puppies over 6 months old may recover, whereas younger puppies (2-3 months) develop the most severe symptoms[7].

A similar strain, canine respiratory coronavirus, is associated with kennel cough in dogs.


  1. Binn LN et al (1974) Recovery and characterization of a coronavirus from military dogs with diarrhea. In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the United States Animal Health Association pp:359–366
  2. Buonavoglia C et al (2006) Canine coronavirus highly pathogenic for dogs. Emerging Infectious Diseases 12(3):492–494
  3. Zappulli V et al (2008) Systemic fatal type II coronavirus infection in a dog: pathological findings and immunohistochemistry. Research in Veterinary Science 84(2):278–282
  4. Decaro N et al (2010) Immunity after natural exposure to enteric canine coronavirus does not provide complete protection against infection with the new pantropic CB/05 strain. Vaccine 28(3):724–729
  5. Buonavoglia C et al (2006) Canine coronavirus highly pathogenic for dogs. Emerging Infectious Diseases 12(3):492–494
  6. Decaro N et al (2007) Molecular characterisation of the virulent canine coronavirus CB/05 strain. Virus Research 125(1):54–60
  7. Decaro N et al (2008) Experimental infection of dogs with a novel strain of canine coronavirus causing systemic disease and lymphopenia. Veterinary Microbiology 128(3-4):253–260