Published: 06 May 2020 | Last Updated: 08 May 2020 14:49:59

Just published in the journal Veterinary Pathology, the RVC's Prof Simon Priestnall is the author of an invited commentary on canine respiratory coronavirus.

Simon and Dr Judy Mitchell lead the RVC’s Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease research group which aims to better understand the causes of this global disease (also known as ‘kennel cough’) in dogs which has significant impacts on health and welfare of dogs as well as disruption within training, rehoming and boarding kennels.

Current research focusses on improved, rapid diagnostic tests and improved epidemiological understanding of the disease complex in rehoming shelters. Discovered in 2003 at the Royal Veterinary College, canine respiratory coronavirus (CRCoV) is a betacoronavirus of dogs and major cause of canine infectious respiratory disease complex. Generally causing mild clinical signs of persistent cough and nasal discharge, the virus is highly infectious and is most prevalent in rehoming shelters worldwide where dogs are often closely housed and infections endemic. As the world grapples with the current COVID-19 pandemic, the scientific community is searching for a greater understanding of a novel virus infecting humans.

Similar to other betacoronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 appears to have crossed the species barrier, most likely from bats, clearly reinforcing the One Health concept. Veterinary pathologists are familiar with coronavirus infections in animals, and now more than ever this knowledge and understanding, based on many years of veterinary research, could provide valuable answers for our medical colleagues. Simon reviews the early RVC-based CRCoV research where seroprevalence, early immune response, and pathogenesis are some of the same key questions being asked by scientists globally during the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. 

The publication is being made freely available because it is COVID-related: Canine Respiratory Coronavirus: A Naturally Occurring Model of COVID-19?

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