Dogs May Spread Norovirus in Humans

Posted on May 11, 2015 16:01

According to new research, humans could catch a norovirus infection from dogs. Norovirus is a major cause for foodborne diseases in the US, but it can also be caught from contaminated surfaces or infected people.

This new study, however, raised evidence to warrant further investigation into the norovirus-spreading effectiveness of dogs. It was done by veterinarian Sarah Caddy and colleagues, who explained how some dogs’ immune systems could mount a response to the human norovirus, which is a strong indication that they can be infected.

Caddy said, “We also confirmed that human norovirus can bind to the cells of the canine gut, which is the first step required for infection of cells.”

For the study, the researchers used non-infectious norovirus particles in dogs, and found that “infection is at least theoretically possible.” The researchers also tested if dogs could carry the human norovirus. They did not find virus traces in the stool samples of 248 dogs, but did find human norovirus antibodies in the blood samples of 43 of the 325 dogs.

It is not known at present if human norovirus can affect dogs. Assuming this is possible based on this study indicates that dogs may also be infect humans in turn.

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