Two new canine flu vaccinations have been developed by scientists at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Veterinarians use vaccines that include inactivated flu virus, but experts say they provide short-term, limited protection. Scientists created two “live-attenuated” vaccines against H3N8 canine influenza virus, which is currently circulating in dogs in the US. Past research shows that live-attenuated vaccines, made from live flu virus that is dampened down so that it doesn’t cause the flu, provide better immune responses and longer periods of protection.
The team is planning to test both live-attenuated vaccine approaches in clinical trials with dogs. The hope is to come up with new options to stem the spread of flu in shelters and kennels, and to avoid the transmission of a dog flu virus to people. As many dog owners and animal lovers are in close contact with dogs on a regular basis, researchers believe it’s best to prevent dogs from getting the flu in the first place.