Unusual striped dolphin mass mortality episode related to cetacean morbillivirus in the Spanish Mediterranean sea



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Rubio Guerri, Consuelo and Melero Asensio, Mar and Esperón, Fernando and Bellière, Edwige Nina and Arbelo, Manuel and Crespo, Jose Luis and Sierra, Eva and García Párraga, Daniel and Sánchez-Vizcaíno, José Manuel (2013) Unusual striped dolphin mass mortality episode related to cetacean morbillivirus in the Spanish Mediterranean sea. BMC veterinary research, 9 . p. 106. ISSN 1746-6148

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Official URL: http://bmcvetres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1746-6148-9-106



In the last 20 years, Cetacean Morbillivirus (CeMV) has been responsible for many die-offs in marine mammals worldwide, as clearly exemplified by the two dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) epizootics of 1990-1992 and 2006-2008, which affected Mediterranean striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). Between March and April 2011, the number of strandings on the Valencian Community coast (E Spain) increased.


Necropsy and sample collection were performed in all stranded animals, with good state of conservation. Subsequently, histopathology, immunohistochemistry, conventional reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Universal Probe Library (UPL) RT-PCR assays were performed to identify Morbillivirus. Gross and microscopic findings compatible with CeMV were found in the majority of analyzed animals. Immunopositivity in the brain and UPL RT-PCR positivity in seven of the nine analyzed animals in at least two tissues confirmed CeMV systemic infection. Phylogenetic analysis, based on sequencing part of the phosphoprotein gene, showed that this isolate is a closely related dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) to that responsible for the 2006-2008 epizootics.


The combination of gross and histopathologic findings compatible with DMV with immunopositivity and molecular detection of DMV suggests that this DMV strain could cause this die-off event.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cetacean morbillivirus, Dolphin morbillivirus, Mediterranean sea, Mass mortality, Striped dolphin
Subjects:Medical sciences > Veterinary
ID Code:39655
Deposited On:21 Dec 2016 09:27
Last Modified:17 Aug 2017 09:08

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