Influenza Virus Reservoirs and Intermediate Hosts: Dogs, Horses, and New Possibilities for Influenza Virus Exposure of Humans
Influenza A virus (IAV) infections in hosts outside the main aquatic bird reservoirs occur periodically. Although most such cross-species transmission events result in limited onward transmission in the new host, sustained influenza outbreaks have occurred in poultry and in a number of mammalian species, including humans, pigs, horses, seals, and mink. Recently, two distinct strains of IAV have emerged in domestic dogs, with each circulating widely for several years. Here, we briefly outline what is known about the role of intermediate hosts in influenza emergence, summarize our knowledge of the new canine influenza viruses (CIVs) and how they provide key new information on the process of host adaptation, and assess the risk these viruses pose to human populations.