Veterinary Microbiology (1998)

DOI: 10.1016/s0378-1135(97)00169-7


The presence of morbillivirus-specific serum antibodies was examined by an indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) and virus neutralization tests in serum samples from 30 dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus), 8 long-snouted common dolphins (Delphinus capensis), 2 inshore and 6 offshore bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and 20 Burmeister’s porpoises (Phocoena spinipinnis) taken in fisheries off central Peru in 1993–1995. The sera from six dusky dolphins, one common dolphin and three offshore bottlenose dolphins were positive on a coat of dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) antigen in the iELISA. Several of these sera were also positive when tested against peste des petits ruminants and rinderpest virus antigen. Porpoise morbillivirus and/or DMV neutralizing antibodies were detected in the sera of two bottlenose and three dusky dolphins that reacted positively with DMV antigen in iELISA and also in the sera of one common, one dusky and one bottlenose dolphin that were negative in the iELISA. These results strongly suggest that viruses closely related, or identical, to the cetacean morbillivirus present in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea infect several species of Delphinidae of the Southeastern Pacific. No convincing morbillivirus-specific antibody positive reactions were detected in the sera from either the Burmeister’s porpoises or the inshore bottlenose dolphins.