Outbreak of vomiting in dogs

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Thank you to those of you who have submitted samples from cases and controls.  Our colleague Shirley Bonner has been working hard with these samples to look for potential infectious causes of this outbreak.  Our preliminary analyses suggests a potential role for a canine enteric coronavirus (CECov).  Sampes were tested for CECoV by PCR (image above) which shows the results of a typical PCR.  The two samples in lanes 4 and 6 are testing positive to CeCoV.

Sixteen of 39 cases (41%) tested positive for CECoV. In contrast, 0 of 16 controls tested positive.  The samples most likely to test positive were faeces and vomit. Oral swabs were less frequently positive.

CeCoV is generally considered a cause of relatively mild diarrhoea or inapparent infections.  To avoid any doubt, it is also important to emphasise that CECoV is NOT related to known human coronaviruses including the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.

We have published this now for two reasons:

1) because vets have talked about a role for a coronavirus in the outbreak and we feel it is important to emphasise that whilst CECov is a coronavirus, it is not closely related to human coronaviruses including SARS-CoV2 (the cause of COVID-19). 

2) we feel it is important to let the wider scientific community know so they can build on these observations.

Find out more about our invesitgation into this outbreak here.

Find out more about CECov here.

Access the letter published in the Veterinary Record here.