5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Nelmarie Landrau Giovannetti
Session Name Emerging Diseases and Contaminants in Florida Waters - 1
Author(s) Nelmarie Landrau Giovannetti,  University of Florida – College of Vet Med (Presenting Author)
  Lauren Brown,  University of Florida – College of Vet Med
  Rachel Henríquez, University of Florida – College of Vet Med
  Linda L. Archer, University of Florida – College of Vet Med
  Galaxia Cortés-Hinojosa, University of Florida – College of Vet Med
  Phylogenomic diversity of cetacean morbilliviruses
  Additional authors: Pádraig J. Duignan, University of Calgary – Department of Ecosystem and Public Health; Ole Nielsen, University Crescent – Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Teresa K. Rowles, National Marine Fisheries Service – Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program; Jeremiah T. Saliki, University of Georgia – College of Vet Med; Nahiid Stephens, Murdoch University – School of Veterinary and Life Sciences; Jianning Wang, Australian Animal Health Laboratory; Kristi West, Hawaii Pacific University – College of Natural and Computational Sciences; James FX Wellehan, University of Florida – College of Vet Med; Thomas Waltzek, University of Florida – College of Vet Med. Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) is a member of the genus Morbillivirus in the family Paramyxoviridae that include enveloped negative-sense RNA viruses of importance in both human and veterinary medicine. Over the past 25 years, CeMV has emerged as the most significant pathogen of dolphins. Since July of 2013, a CeMV unusual mortality event in bottlenose dolphins along the Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States from New York to Florida has resulted in greater than 1800 strandings. We describe the phylogenomic diversity among five CeMV strains: dolphin morbillivirus (DMV-A) isolated from the aforementioned Mid-Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), dolphin morbillivirus (DMV-M) isolated from a Mediterranean striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), dolphin morbillivirus (DMV-G) from a bottlenose dolphin in the Gulf of Mexico, porpoise morbillivirus (PMV) isolated from a harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), and beaked whale morbillivirus (BWMV) from Longman’s beaked whale (Indopacetus pacificus). Full CeMV genomes were sequenced by performing overlapping reverse transcription PCR. The phylogenomic diversity of the CeMV strains were compared to the six other recognized morbillivirus species including: Measles virus, Rinderpest virus, Peste-des-petits-ruminants, Phocine distemper virus, Canine distemper virus, and Feline morbillivirus. Sequences were aligned in MAFFT 7.0 followed by evolutionary model optimization and Maximum Likelihood analysis in MEGA 6.0. The five CeMV strains formed a well-supported clade. BWMV was the most divergent and formed the sister taxon to the rest of the CeMVs. Although considerable sequence variation was detected among the four, the magnitude of the difference was suggestive of separate CeMV strains (i.e. DMVs, PMV, and BWMV) rather than separate morbillivirus species. Although preliminary, recent detections of a high divergent morbillivirus in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (T.aduncus) from Western Australia and a Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis) from the South Atlantic suggests the creation of a new morbillivirus species may be warranted. This study provides a much needed update to morbillivirus taxonomy, a foundation for future efforts aimed at developing improved CeMV molecular diagnostics, and a better understanding of the temporospatial dynamics of these emerging marine mammal pathogens.