Washington.D.C [USA], Jan. 29 : For all the dog lovers, it'is time to rejoice, as a new study finds two new vaccines for canine influenza, which may not only improve the health of your furry friend, but will also, keep you safe from the infection.
Lead researcher Luis Martinez-Sobrido along with his team from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in the U.S created two "live-attenuated" vaccines against H3N8 canine influenza virus - which is currently circulating in dogs in the U.S.
The dogs who get infected with multiple influenza viruses have the potential to act as "mixing vessels" and generate new flu strains that could infect humans too.
The team used a genetic engineering technique called 'reserve genetics' to create a live vaccine that replicates in the nose, but not in the lungs.
The nose is where the virus first enters a dog's body, so generating an immune response could stop the virus in its tracks.
The researchers hoped that the new options would stem the spread of flu in shelters and kennels to avoid the transmission of dog flu virus to people.
The study, published in the Journal of Virology, found the live vaccine was safe and was able to induce better immune protection against H3N8 canine influenza virus in mice and dog tracheal cells than a commercially available inactivated vaccine.
The team is planning to test both live-attenuated vaccine approaches in clinical trials with dogs. As many dog owners and animal lovers are in close contact with dogs on a regular basis, Martinez-Sobrido believes that it is best to prevent dogs from catching the flu in the first place.