[MARMAM] Morbillivirus in the Ligurian Sea

Fulvio Garibaldi garibaldi.f at libero.it
Wed Nov 21 06:49:13 PST 2007

Dear all,

this is just to inform you about the presence of morbillivirus epizootic in the Ligurian Sea.
During the last 3 months, along about 12 miles coastline, near the French borderline, we recovered 6 stranded striped dolphins (the average number of stranding events in the last 10 years was about 5 specimens/year) All dead specimens were in good conditions, so we were able to perform necropsies at the Istituto Zooprofilattico of Imperia, with the veterinary support of  Dott. Mignone, dott. Caroggio and dott. Ballardini.

It was immediately clear the presence of pathologies typically associated to morbillivirus infections, with mainly at nervous central system and respiratory system.

Tissue samples were also examined by prof. Elena Bozzetta (IZS Turin) and prof. Giovanni Di Guardo (University of Teramo). 

So far, 3 specimens of 4 were confirmed positive to the morbillivirus, not only at serological, but also at tissue level. 

Two more specimens, stranded during November, presented about the same pathological aspects at necropsy: we are waiting for histological and immunoistochemical results.

They could be only a few, isolated cases, but we don’t know exactly what the situation in the entire Mediterranean is. 

If you have some news from other areas, please let us know.


Fulvio Garibaldi, Ph.D
Università di Genova
C.so Europa, 26
16132  Genova -  Italy
e-mail: largepel at unige.it
Pers. e-mail: garibaldi.f at libero.it
Phone – fax: +39 010 357 888

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