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Herpesvirus determination in free-ranging cetaceans stranded in the Mediterranean sea between June 2010 and June 2013

Conference in 46th Annual IAAAM Meeting and Conference

April 6th, 2015

Melero M., Rubio-Guerri C., Crespo JL., Garcia-Parraga D. and Sanchez-Vizcaino JM.

Herpesvirus can infect a wide range of animal species: mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, frogs and bivalves, producing different lesions and diseases. Several cases of herpesvirus infection have been described in marine mammals, but there are still many unresolved issues such as the percentage of positive animals, the differences depending on age and sex and the relationship between the presence of the virus and the appearance of lesions. In this study, in order to amplify the knowledge of herpesvirus in free-ranging cetaceans, a systematic and complete screening of all samples obtained from animals stranded in the Mediterranean coast of Valencia Community (Spain) between June 2010 and June 2013, were evaluated for herpesvirus presence. Forty-seven stranded cetaceans were analyzed: 35 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), eight bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), three Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus), and one Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris). Individuals were classified in six age groups based on the total length of the animal, the presence of thymus and the radiological analysis of the pectoral flipper: adult, subadult, juvenile, calf, suckling calf and neonate. All necropsies were performed according to the standard protocol of the European Cetacean Society. Because of the corpus conservation condition, necropsies were not always possible; in these cases, some samples were collected at the beach. In total, 966 samples were collected and stored at -80ºC. For all tissue samples obtained, herpesvirus determination was carried out by using a panherpesvirus nested PCR targeting the DNA polymerase gene. PCR product of all positive samples were purified and sequenced, using the obtained sequences in a phylogenetic analysis performed by using MEGA 5.2 software.5 Herpesvirus determination revealed that from the 47 evaluated cetaceans, 38 were positive in at least one tissue (80.85%): 28 striped dolphins (28/35, 80.00%), seven bottlenose dolphins (7/8, 87.5%), two Risso’s dolphins (2/3, 66.67%) and the Cuvier’s beaked whale (1/1, 100%). From the 966 evaluated tissues, 121 were positive for herpesvirus determination (12.53%), most of them belonging to the subfamily Gammaherpesvirinae. Results based on sex and age revealed that the percentage of positive tissues from the total evaluated is higher in females than in males, and only the suckling calves and neonates showed a lower percentage comparing them with the rest of the age groups. And, interestingly, most of the positive cetaceans presented herpesvirus in more than one tissue, occurring in several cases (51.85%) that sequences of virus belonged to the subfamilies Alphaherpesvirinae and Gammaherpesvirinae were found in different tissues of the same individual.
In summary, the conclusion could be that herpesvirus is usually present in free- ranging cetaceans in the Mediterranean sea, even though the number of positive tissues per animal is normally low, most individuals are positive for herpesvirus diagnosis in at least one tissue




Participants:

Universidad ComplutenseServicio de Inmunología Viral y Medicina Preventiva (SUAT). Centro de Vigilancia Sanitaria Veterinaria (VISAVET). Universidad Complutense (UCM).

Universidad ComplutenseDepartamento de Sanidad Animal. Facultad de Veterinaria. Universidad Complutense (UCM).

Generalitat ValencianaOceanogràfic. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. Generalitat Valenciana.


Link to 46th Annual IAAAM Meeting and Conference





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46th Annual IAAAM Meeting and Conference


April 6th-10th, 2015
Chicago, Illinois
United States of America

TITLE: Herpesvirus determination in free-ranging cetaceans stranded in the Mediterranean sea between June 2010 and June 2013


TYPE: Oral communication


AUTHORS: Melero M., Rubio-Guerri C., Crespo JL., Garcia-Parraga D. and Sanchez-Vizcaino JM.


VISAVET PARTICIPANTS


First
Mar Melero Asensio
Last
José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno Rodríguez

DATE: April 6th, 2015


CITE THIS COMMUNICATION:

Melero M., Rubio-Guerri C., Crespo JL., Garcia-Parraga D. and Sanchez-Vizcaino JM. Herpesvirus determination in free-ranging cetaceans stranded in the Mediterranean sea between June 2010 and June 2013. 46th Annual IAAAM Meeting and Conference, International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America, April 6th, 2015. (Oral communication)


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