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Identification of morbilliviruses of probable cetacean origin in carcases of Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus)
  1. M. W. G. van de Bildt, MSc1,
  2. B. E. E. Martina, MSc1,
  3. E. J. Vedder, DVM1,
  4. E. Androukaki, MSc2,
  5. S. Kotomatas, PhD2,
  6. A. Komnenou, DVM2,
  7. B. A. Sidi, DVM3,
  8. A. B. Jiddou3,
  9. M. E. O. Barham, DVM3,
  10. H. G. M. Niesters, PhD4 and
  11. A. D. M. E. Osterhaus, DVM, PhD4
  1. 1 Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre, Hoofdstraat 94A, 9968 AG Pieterburen, The Netherlands
  2. 2 MOM/Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal, 53 Solomou St, 104 32 Athens, Greece
  3. 3 Centre National de Recherches Oceanographiques et des Pêches, BP 22 Nouadhibou, Mauritania
  4. 4 Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam, Institute of Virology, dr Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam, Institute of Virology, dr Molewaterplein 50, 3015 GE Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract

Two morbilliviruses were isolated from carcases of Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus) which had died in coastal areas of Greece and Mauritania. They were characterised as being closely related to the previously identified dolphin and porpoise morbilliviruses on the basis of their serological cross-reactivities in immunofluorescence assays, and sequence homologies in their N and P genes. The results suggest that morbilliviruses of aquatic mammals may cross barriers between species of different orders.

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