Circulation of a #novel strain of #dolphin #morbillivirus (DMV) in stranded #cetaceans in the #Mediterranean Sea (Sci Rep., abstract)

[Source: Scientific Reports, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Article | OPEN | Published: 05 July 2019

Circulation of a novel strain of dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) in stranded cetaceans in the Mediterranean Sea

Francesco Mira, Consuelo Rubio-Guerri, Giuseppa Purpari, Roberto Puleio, Giulia Caracappa, Francesca Gucciardi, Laura Russotto, Guido Ruggero Loria & Annalisa Guercio

Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article number: 9792 (2019)



Dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) has been responsible for several outbreaks of systemic infection and has resulted in cetacean strandings in the Mediterranean. In August-October 2016, seven striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) stranded on the Sicilian coastline (Italy) tested positive for DMV. Tissue samples from brain, lung, pulmonary lymph nodes, heart, spleen, liver, stomach, intestine, kidneys and urinary bladder, as well as blowhole swabs, were collected during necropsy for molecular diagnostics and pathology studies. Extracted tissue RNA was screened for DMV by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Some tissues exhibited microscopic lesions that were consistent with DMV infection on histopathological and immunohistochemical grounds. Conventional reverse transcription PCR to target partial nucleoprotein and phosphoprotein genes yielded sequences used to genetically characterize the associated DMV strain. DMV RNA was detected by both PCR assays in all tested tissues of the seven dolphins, which suggests systemic infections, but was absent from another dolphin stranded on the Sicilian coastline during the same period. The partial phosphoprotein and nucleoprotein gene sequences from the positive dolphins were 99.7% and 99.5% identical, respectively, to the DMV sequences recently observed in cetaceans stranded on the Spanish Mediterranean. Our study suggests that this DMV strain is circulating in the Mediterranean.

Keywords: Morbillivirus; Dolphins; Wildlife; European Region.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum ( in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.