Study shows influenza A virus can jump from horses to camels

New research from the University of Florida showed on Tuesday that an influenza A virus can jump from horses to camels.

The research was conducted by the One Health Center of Excellence for Research and Training in the University of Florida's Emerging Pathogens Institute in collaboration with U.S. and Mongolian Institutions.

The results of the study will be published in Emerging Infectious Diseases in December.

"Over the last 10 years, we've been amazed at all the cross-species jumps of influenza. Now we're finding yet another," Gregory C. Gray, the center director and environmental and global health professor in UF's College of Public Health and Health Professions, said.

The transmission of the virus from mammal to mammal is a concern, according to Gray, as camels have been shown to transfer Middle East respiratory syndrome virus to humans. The concern is that influenza could also be transferred to humans from camels.

The study looked at free-range camels and horses intermingling in three Mongolian provinces.

Gray also suggested the improvement of surveillance of zoonotic diseases in camels.

"Knowing that influenza virus can jump between horses and camels will reshape how we understand the ecology of novel influenza viruses which may affect man," Gray said.