[MARMAM] RE : Morbillivirus in the Ligurian Sea

Franck&Océane franck_et_oceane at yahoo.fr
Thu Nov 22 23:44:22 PST 2007

Dear Fulvio, dear list members,
  In France, since the end of August, we have an abnormal high number of striped dolphins strandings. Some of them have shown clinical signs and lesions that could be linked to a morbillivirus infection.
  Some analysis have been done and at least two dolphins were confirmed positive this week to the morbillivirus (PCR technique). These results have to be confirmed and we are waiting for others, but it seems that a new mortality episode du to morbillvirus has spread through the Mediterranean sea from Spain to Italy since July.
  Best regards,
  Franck Dupraz
  G.E.C.E.M (Study Group on Mediterranean Cetaceans)

Fulvio Garibaldi <garibaldi.f at libero.it> a écrit :
  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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