Annual Report FY 2004 - Research at Cornell

07. Jumping Species

Edward J. Dubovi, Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, and research colleagues discovered an influenza virus that was transferred from horses to dogs. The outbreak of a severe respiratory illness among racing greyhounds in 2003–2004 in every state with greyhound racetracks sent researchers on a search for the cause. Along with researchers at the University of Florida and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dubovi’s lab confirmed that an equine influenza virus, the H3 strain, had jumped species. This unexpected finding has important implications for zoonotic—interspecies transmission—diseases. The transmission may have always occurred but is only now identified because of the sensitivity of new testing methods. The discovery has alerted researchers of new opportunities to spot and avoid emerging disease outbreak.

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