Seroepidemiological survey of Bordatella bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza-2 virus in dogs in Sweden

Survey of prevalence of kennel cough-related antibodies in pet dogs in Sweden

source: L.Englund et al
Veterinary Record vol 152 no 9, March 1 2003
starts p251, 4 pages long

Two organisms, Bordatella bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza-2 virus (CPiV-2) are the most common agents linked to kennel cough, which is also called canine infectious tracheobronchitis. Either organism can induce the disease in unvaccinated dogs, though coughing tends to be less severe for dogs affected by CPiV-2 than for dogs affected by B bronchoseptica.

A survey of 302 unvaccinated dogs from eight veterinary clinics in Sweden has investigated the prevalence of antibodies in dogs against these two organisms. The dogs were all aged two years or over, and had not travelled abroad. There were 154 male and 146 female dogs, with sex not reported for the other two. The males had an average (mean) age of 5.9 years, and the females an average age of 6.4 years. Some samples had too little serum to test for both organisms. 297 samples were tested for B bordatella, 287 samples were tested for both agents, 288 for antibodies against CPiV-2, with 9 samples excluded from the CpiV-2 analysis, since the dogs had been vaccinated against CPiV-2, giving 279 samples for CPiV-2 analysis.

The results showed B bronchoseptica antibodies for 66 samples of 297, or 22% of the total, with no correlation for breed, sex, age, or various risk factors. CPiV-2 antibodies were found in 79 samples, or 28% of a total of 279. Dogs were more likely to be affected by CPiV-2 if they spent over a month in day or boarding kennels over a year, as were dogs which had mated naturally. There was no link between CPiV-2 infection and age, sex, breed, or competing in dog shows, agility or field events. There was no significant link between dogs being tested positive for B bronchoseptica and having a positive result for CPiV-2, with only 18 dogs of 287 (6.3%) testing positive for both organisms.

These two agents linked to kennel cough appear to be common in Sweden. B bronchseptica can persist in dogs' upper airways for several weeks, while CPiV-2 virus appears to be shed for a short time, and seems to be more closely linked to overcrowding. B bronchoseptica infections can occur without obvious overcrowding. Bacteriological anlaysis from pharyngeal or nasal swabs can identify cases of B bronchoseptica which would respond to antibiotics. Some areas of Sweden appear to have a higher rate of CPiV-2 infection than others, though it is unclear why.