During 2007 a dolphin morbillivirus epizootic affected the western Mediterranean and several striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) stranded on the Catalonian coasts. One of those animals had severe lymphoid depletion, necrosis and syncytial formation in lymph nodes and spleen, with large basophilic nuclear inclusions compatible with herpesvirus detected by immunohistochemical and ultrastructural examination. Non-suppurative encephalitis with associated morbillivirus antigen and morbillivirus antigen within alveolar macrophages were also observed. A pan-herpesvirus nested polymerase chain reaction amplified a sequence virtually identical to two cetacean herpesvirus sequences previously identified in systemic infections in an Atlantic Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) and in a Mediterranean striped dolphin. The herpesviral infection was probably secondary to the immunosuppression caused by the morbillivirus. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a cetacean co-infected by dolphin morbillivirus and herpesvirus with evidence of lesions attributable to both viruses. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
- Stenella coeruleoalba
- Striped dolphin