The monkeypox virus could be transmitted from humans to dogs: a first suspected case was documented in Paris, where a four-year-old greyhound exhibited the typical skin and mucous lesions of the disease 12 days after his two owners. , with whom he used to share a bed.
From the comparison between swabs it seems that it is the same viral genome, but the dynamics of the contagion are still to be clarified: in the expectation of new investigations, the hypothesis of temporarily removing pets from infected people is emerging, as revealed Sorbonne University researchers in the study published in The Lancet.
It is not known so far whether domestic dogs and cats can be vectors for the monkeypox virus.
In countries where the disease is endemic, it has been found that only wild animals (rodents and primates) can carry the virus.
However, transmission of the virus in prairie dogs has been documented in the United States, while in Europe it has been recorded in some captive primates that had been in contact with imported infected animals.
Contagion between pets, such as cats and dogs, has never been reported.
This first suspicious case in France could change the cards.
The infection seems to have started from the two owners of the dog, a 44-year-old man with HIV (on antiretroviral therapy) and another 27-year-old seronegative man.
The two showed up at the Pitié-Salpetrière hospital last June 10 with fever, headache and lesions to the skin and mucous membranes typical of monkeypox, which appeared a few days after sexual intercourse with other partners.
After 12 days, the dog they used to sleep with also started to show lesions: excluding the possibility that it had come into contact with other animals or infected people, it was subjected to a swab.
Considering his health picture and the test results, the researchers hypothesize "a true disease of the dog, not a simple presence of the virus due to close contact with humans or airborne transmission. Our results - conclude the experts - should stimulate debate on the need to isolate pets from monkeypox virus positive individuals. "