Serological evidence of H3N2 canine influenza virus infection among horses with dog exposure.
Currently, Canine influenza virus (CIV) H3N2 is continuously circulating in dog populations in China, Korea, and the United States (US). Both influenza SA-α-2,3-Gal and SA-α-2,6-Gal receptors have been observed in the respiratory tracts of both horses and dogs. Hence, the increasing number of CIV H3N2 cases in the world indicates a potential risk for transspecies transmission to horses with dog exposure. Here, a seroepidemiological survey of CIV H3N2 infections in horses was conducted using hemagglutination inhibition (HI), microneutralization (MN) and the chicken embryo neutralization test (CENT). From April 2014 to November 2016, 399 sera from race horses were collected in Guangzhou, Dongguan, Huizhou, and Shenzhen in China. Nine specimens (2.2%, 9/399) were positive for CIV H3N2 with HI titers ≥1:20, MN titers ≥1:80 and CENT titers ≥1:80. Furthermore, these positive horses showed significant correlation with dog exposure, and some dogs (20%, 3/15) from the same riding clubs as the positive horses also possessed antibodies against CIV H3N2. This study is the first to provide seroepidemiological evidence of CIV H3N2 infection in horses with exposure to dogs. Based on these findings, continuous serological and virological surveillance of CIV H3N2 infection among horses is imperative, and further animal experiments should be performed.