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Letter to the editors

Canine corona virus in Nigeria: a missed diagnosis or an under reported panzootics?

Canine corona virus in Nigeria: a missed diagnosis or an under reported panzootics?

Okoli Solomon Chieloka1,2,&, Amao Lateefat Kikelomo3, Onaga Awele1


1Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Veterinary Services, Epidemiology Unit Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria, 2African Field epidemiology Network (AFENET), Abuja, Nigeria, 3Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Abuja, Nigeria



&Corresponding author
Okoli Solomon Chieloka, Federal ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Veterinary Services, Epidemiology Unit Abuja, Nigeria



To the Editors Pan African Medical Journal    Down

In Nigeria, dogs are kept as a companion animal, or a source of protein [1], with an estimated dog population of about 2-5 million based on the population density of 1:13 households [2,3]. Canine Corona Virus (CCoV) is a viral disease enzootic in dog worldwide [4]. Two distinct genera are known, CCoV-I, CCoV-II [5,6], they are responsible for mild, self-limiting gastrointestinal infections in dogs [5]. CCoV-II has two subgenera CCoV-IIa and CCoV-IIb based on its genetic relatedness to transmissible gastroenteritis virus of Swine, (TGEV) [5]. In May 2005, the outbreak of a fetal, systemic disease in 3 miniature pinschers and a cocker spaniel, characterized by lethargy, vomiting, pyrexia, hematuria and neurological symptom initially taught to be caused by Parvovirus was identified as a pantropic coronavirus variant (CCoV-IIa) [5]. Curiously, CCoV is rarely reported or listed as a differential diagnosis, during clinical diagnosis and management of canine diseases in Nigeria.


Similarly, a retrospective review of the animal disease line list from the Federal department of Veterinary services in Nigeria between, 2000-2010, showed that no case of CCoVs was reported across the 36 States of Nigeria and the Federal capital territory (FCT), neither was it listed as a reportable animal disease on the animal disease information system server 2 (ARIS 2), the official platform for reporting animal diseases in Nigeria during the period in view. Consequently, we conducted a cross-sectional survey involving 69 Veterinarian in small animal practices in Nigeria, a structured pre-tested questionnaire was purposively administered to clinicians to determine the availability of laboratory services as an integral component of veterinary diagnostics, the basis on which management of suspected cases of CCoV, Canine Parvo viral enteritis, and Canine Adenovirus was made by a veterinarian. On the availability of laboratory services, 20 (28.6%) of respondents has no laboratory facilities (LF) as part of their clinical practice. Thirty-nine (57%) relied solely on a clinical symptom alone to make a diagnosis of Canine diseases, 3 (11.4%) of veterinary hospital (VH) with LF conducts the virological test. Fifteen (22.9%) of clinician-reported managing suspected cases of CCoV, however, 8 (54.6%) of them posited that management was based on clinical symptoms alone. We reported that only 14 (20.6%) of dogs presenting symptoms similar to canine parvo viral enteritis, adenoviruses were screened for canine coronavirus (Table 1).




Conclusion    Down

Veterinarians have been at the forefronts of management and containment of disease outbreaks as a critical stakeholder in the global one health agenda, consequently, the ability of Veterinarians to detect diseases in an animal may serve as an early warning system for identifying the aetiology of a disease or organisms with a potential zoonotic risk. However, in Nigeria diagnoses of animal diseases are often based on clinical symptoms alone, consequently, emerging and re-emerging diseases may be missed due to poor laboratory diagnostic culture. Furthermore, clinicians and client may be at risk of potential zoonoses when wrong diagnoses are made based on clinical symptoms alone. Screening of dogs in Nigeria may enhance detection canine diseases, and differentiate the canine parvoviruses, canine adenoviruses during medical diagnosis. Since virological test are required for confirmatory diagnosis of CCoVs, electron microscopic examination of faecal suspension, tissue culture and viral neutralization techniques may be used, however, when viral load are very low in tissue. A nested polymerase chain reaction (n-PCR) assay specific for detection of CCoV may be more effective. Veterinarians could develop a framework for routine and comprehensive screening, management of the zoo, wild and companion animals for zoonotic diseases, which could be funded by the government. This may reduce the cost of management of animal diseases, ensure early disease detection and prevent the emergence or re-emergence of a potential panzootic with zoonotic potential.



Competing interests  Up    Down

The authors declare no competing interests.



Authors' contributions Up    Down

Dr Amao and Onaga read the manuscript and made valuable contributions. All the authors have read and agreed to the final manuscript.



Acknowledgments Up    Down

The author would like to acknowledge the chief veterinary officer of Nigeria, Dr Olaniran Alab and the Nigerian field epidemiology and laboratory training programme (NFELTP).



Table Up    Down

Table 1: questionnaire response on basis for management of canine corona virus in veterinary clinic across Nigeria



References Up    Down

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