Presence of herpesvirus in striped dolphins stranded during the cetacean morbillivirus epizootic along the Mediterranean Spanish coast in 2007
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A screening for herpesvirus (HV) was carried out using a tissue bank obtained from the cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) mortality episode that occurred along the Mediterranean Spanish coast in 2007. A total of 14 cetaceans, including six long-finned pilot whales and eight striped dolphins, were studied using histopathology and molecular analysis to detect HV and CeMV. In five of the eight dolphins (62.5%) infected with CeMV, eight novel HV sequences were also detected. No HV lesions were found in any of the coinfected dolphins, which may indicate that HV did not contribute to the mortality in the CeMV outbreak. This is the first report of HV infection in any cetacean from the Mediterranean Sea.
KeywordsBottlenose Dolphin Pilot Whale Beaked Whale Striped Dolphin Mediterranean Spanish Coast
We are grateful to Elena Neves and Verónica Nogal for their excellent technical assistance. This work is dedicated to the memory of Professor Tom Barrett (Institute for Animal Health: Pirbright Laboratory, UK), who kindly provided us with the control DMV MUC strain. This work was partially funded by project CGL2009-08125 of the Spanish National Research Plan and by the Agreement INIA-MARM CC08-020.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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