Whacky immunology story

My puppy has had a cough and runny nose. She coughed for just a few days (over the weekend) and then quit. She actually didn't have any symptoms left by the time my vet opened today, but I called anyway and they said she probably had kennel cough. I went by and picked up some doxycycline for her. She doesn't act ill at all anymore, but there's a dog respiratory epidemic going around, so I'll give her the antibiotics anyway.

From there I went to my human doctor for my own respiratory crap I've had for a few weeks since getting my Tdap, which made me evilly ill. While there, having given him the history of my vaccine and subsequent unshakable crud, I joked "I've just gotten antibiotics for my puppy. She has a cough too. Perhaps I have kennel cough!"

He looked at me and said, "When did you get your puppy?" A few weeks ago. "When did you get your vaccine?" A few weeks ago. "I'm sure you know," he said, "that kennel cough is really Bordatella pertussis?" I did, dimly, in the recesses of my mind.

Apparently, it is likely that I gave Annie pertussis as a result of shedding the conjugate virus after my vaccine! She has had one vaccine but not the second one; she's not due for it yet. So the stars aligned: a human who reacted strongly to a vaccine and shed the pathogen around a halfway immunized young puppy.

Annie seems to have had just a mild illness and doesn't seem any the worse for it, so I mainly find this story intriguing in the extreme. I would not have thought of that in a million years. But I researched it and indeed humans can catch kennel cough, and I found no evidence that dogs couldn't catch pertussis illnesses from humans.

Crazy stuff.

UPDATE 10/5/12: A friend sent me this link. The phenomenon is called reverse zoonosis and DOES happen! Weird.