Detection of non-primate hepaciviruses in UK dogs

El-Attar, L M R and Mitchell, J A and Brownlie, H B and Priestnall, S L and Brownlie, J (2015) Detection of non-primate hepaciviruses in UK dogs. Virology, 484. pp. 93-102.

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Non-primate hepacivirus (NPHV) has been identified in dogs, horses, bats and wild rodents. The presence of NPHV in dogs outside of the USA however is yet to be established. Here we describe for the first time the detection of NPHV in the UK dog population (described throughout the manuscript as CnNPHV). We examined tissues collected from dogs housed in a rehoming kennel where respiratory disease was endemic. CnNPHV RNA was detected in the tracheal tissues of 48/210 dogs by RT-PCR, and in the liver, lung and/or tracheal tissues of 12/20 dogs. The presence of CnNPHV RNA, and its tropism was confirmed by in situ hybridisation. Histopathological examination demonstrated a trend toward higher histopathological scores in CnNPHV RNA positive respiratory tissues, although, this was not statistically significant. Our findings broaden the geographic distribution and our understanding of CnNPHV. Further evidence of CnNPHV replication in canids warrants investigation.

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