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EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES Lecture 12 Morbillivirus Infections in Aquatic Mammals

Carl J. Pfeiffer

50 New Viruses in Past Decades

Include: Ebola ivory coast Andes virus Hepatitis G Fakeeh Pirital Oscar virus Hendra virus Black lagoon virus Nipah Whitewater arroyo

Three Distinct New Viruses for the Disease and Death of Seals and Dolphins Morbilliviruses
In Family
Paramyxoviridae Serologically related, single-stranded RNA viruses

Until 1988
Canine distemper virus (CDV) Measles virus (MV) Rinderpest virus (RPV) Peste des petites ruminants virus (PPRV)

Percentage Amino Acid Identity in Various Morbillivirus Proteins.

*nc sequence not completed yet.

Nucleotide Sequence and Antigenicity

DMV and PMV most closely related to RPV and PPRV DMV and PMV are strains of same viral species PDV and Baikal seal morbillivirus closely related to CDV

Five Pinniped/ Cetacean Epizootics Page 1 of 5


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1988, U.S.A. East Coast Hundreds of bottlenose dolphin 1988, NW Europe 20,000 harbor seals Several hundred gray seals 1987-8 Lake Baikal, Thousands of Baikal seals Siberia 1987-8 Mediterranean sea Thousands of striped dolphins 1993-4, Gulf of Mexico Scores of bottlenose dolphins

Confirmed Morbillivirus Infections

1987-88 1988 1988

Atlantic coast bottlenosed dolphin epizootic Northwestern Europe: harbor seals, harbor porpoises Western Mediterranean: striped dolphins Gulf of Mexico; Bottlenose dolphins Eastern pacific common dolphins
1998 1993-1994

Epizootic of European Harbor Seal Morbillivirus (1988)

Contact with arctic seal species most likely source (harp seals migrating south)(PDV-1) Lake Baikal Siberian seals acquired canine distemper virus (PDV-2) from land animals

1990 Mediterranean Dolphin Epizootic

Striped dolphins 500 deaths - strandings off Spain Pneumonia and encephalitis Morbillivirus antigen found PDV (or closely related virus) was causal First report of Morbillivirus in dolphins Domingo et al, Nature, 1990
Exudative bronchial pneumonia Ulcerative Stomatitis Enlarged pulmonary lymph nodes Cerebral cortical hemorrhagic necrosis

Gross Pathology: Cetaceans

1990-1992 Mediterranean striped dolphin epizootic

1987-1988 Bottlenose dolphin epizootic

Pneumonia Skin and buccal mucosal ulceration Septicemia, pleural serosanguinous fluid Pulmonary, myocardial, hepatic, pancreatic fibrosis
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DMV Clinical Signs: Dolphins

Skin lesions Buccal mucosal erosions Increased epizoa on skin and teeth Tachycardia Abnormal respiratory rate Muscular tremors Impaired swimming 4 whales stranded (Sept. 29 - Nov. 27) Mottled skin, one had fever, increased RBC All had increased lead, mercury, and cadmium levels Probably morbillivirus infection

1995 Mediterranean Blue Whale Stranding

Other Documented Cases: 91'-95'

Long island harbour seals NW Europe harbour porpoises Western Atlantic harp seal and pilot whales

MV Seropositivity also in:

Polar bear Manatee False killer whale Pigmy sperm whale Spotted dolphin Minke whale Walrus Crabeater seal Fin whale Hooded seal Leopard seal Ringed seal Others

Gross Pathology: Pinnipeds

Pneumonia in 75% of harbor seals Pulmonary abscesses Hydrothorax and hemothorax Page 3 of 5


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Heavy lungworm infections Lymphadenopathy

PMV Clinical Signs: Harbor Seals

Fever, weight loss, lethargy Oculonasal discharge (serous or mucopurulent) Dyspnea Diarrhea Abortion Loss of buoyancy control (subcutaneous emphysema) 40-80% mortality

Clinical Pathology: Morbillivirus Infection

Grey seals: increased plasma thymulin Striped dolphins, harbor seals: Leucopenia, hemoconcentration

Carcass Examination

Microscopic evidence of nuclear and cytoplasmic acidophilic inclusion bodies in diverse cells (e.g., CNS, lymphoid, epithelial)

Development of Monoclonal Antibodies for Differential Diagnosis of Morbilliviruses in Marine Mammals Diagnosis in Live Animals

Cytologic and immunofluorescence examination of conjunctival or nasal smears for inclusion bodies or morbillivirus antigen Stage of infection, titer of antibody Distribution and frequency of DMV-antigen in organs of 57 Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) *Positive cases/total number of dolphins investigated for this tissue or organ
Sample Questions: 1). The dolphin morbillivirus has been shown to possess structural similarity to all but which one of the following? a. Measles virus b. Feline leukemia virus c. Phocine morbillivirus 2). Observations of afflicted animals in the Mediterranean striped dolphin and/or Atlantic bottlenose dolphin epizootics have included all but which of the following? Page 4 of 5


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a. Exudative bronchial pneumonia b. Septicemia c. Ocular opacity 3). Morbillivirus - positive (DMV or PMV) serology has been observed in all but which of the following species? a. Sea otters b. Atlantic bottlenose dolphins c. Pilot whales and manatees 4) Please indicate which of the following comments is not correct. a. PMV is known to infect dolphins b. The lungs and bronchial system are primary targets of MV in marine mammals c. MV frequently attacks the brain of marine mammals

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