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Virologica Sinica, 30 (3) : 221-223, 2015
Cats as a potential source of emerging influenza virus infections
1. Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Tokyo,
Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
2. Division of Virology, Institute of Medical Science, University of
Tokyo, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan
3. National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases, Obihiro University
of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro 080-8555,
4. Department of Internal Medicine II, Azabu University, Sagamihara
252-5201, Japan
5. Department of Veterinary Microbiology I, Azabu University,
Sagamihara 252-5201, Japan
6. Avian Influenza Research Center, Airlangga University, Surabaya
60115, Indonesia
 Correspondence: ahorimo@mail.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp
Based on the findings of the present study, we conclude that cats can be infected with human influenza viruses as well as avian influenza viruses. Actually, the recent study has shown that both human-type(α2, 6-linked sialic acid) and avian-type(α2, 3-linked sialic acid)influenza virus receptors were extensively detected in the respiratory organs such as trachea, bronchus, and lung of the domestic cats(Wang et al., 2013). Therefore, cats may act as a vector for human influenza virus transmission within households, posing a potential public health concern. Furthermore, we detected both H5N1 and human virus-seropositive cats in neighboring areas at similar sampling times, suggesting that cats can be simultaneously infected with both avian and human viruses in H5N1 virus-endemic areas. Thus, cats, like pigs, may act as an intermediate host for the emergence of new, potentially p and emic viruses.
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  Published online: 5 May 2015
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