Dogs, humans may have shared viruses
|Looks innocent enough, but humans and dogs may have exchanged genetic material over the millennia via retroviruses.|
Canids may have had fewer retroviral infections than other mammals, the researchers speculate, but there could be other causes for the low percentage.
"However, the paucity of known extant retroviruses in dogs compared to other mammals as well as the current status of the dog assembly and the limited number of carnivore species sequenced to date preclude firm conclusions regarding mechanisms and processes leading to the low [canine endogenous retrovirus] content observed in dog," the study says.
The study says that one group of retroviruses was similar to a human retrovirus, giving rise to the hypothesis that dogs and humans may have shared viruses over the millennia.