In order to determine the prevalence of canine enteric coronavirus (CECoV) in the general dog population, faecal samples were obtained in a cross-sectional study of 249 dogs presenting for any reason at veterinary practices randomly selected from across the UK. Demographic and clinical data was obtained for each of the samples, including signalment, number of dogs in the household, reason for visiting the practice, and any recent history of diarrhoea. The samples were tested by RT-PCR for the presence of both type I and type II CECoV. Seven samples were positive (three from dogs in the same household), a prevalence of 2.8% (95% confidence intervals 1.1-5.7). Phylogenetic analysis of partial M gene sequences revealed that all seven positive samples grouped with type I CECoV, the first report of this virus in the UK. None of the positive dogs presented for gastrointestinal disease. Interestingly five of the positive dogs from three separate households were aged over 6 years, suggesting that older dogs may play an important role in the persistence of CECoV in such populations. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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