DAO 116:157-163 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02918

NOTE
Identification, molecular and phylogenetic analysis of poxvirus in skin lesions of southern right whale

Carla Fiorito1,2, Carlos Palacios3,4, Marcelo Golemba5, Ana Bratanich3, Maria Belen Argüelles1, Ana Fazio1, Marcelo Bertellotti1, Daniel Lombardo2,*

1Laboratorio de Ecofisiología Aplicada al Manejo y Conservación, Centro Nacional Patagónico, CONICET, 9120 Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina
2Laboratorio de Histología, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad de Buenos Aires, C1427CWO Buenos Aires, Argentina
3Laboratorio de Virología, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad de Buenos Aires, C1427CWO Buenos Aires, Argentina
4Centro de Virología Animal, Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Dr. Cesar Milstein, CONICET, C1440FFX Buenos Aires, Argentina
5Laboratorio de Biología Celular y Retrovirus, Hospital de Pediatría S.A.M.I.C. ‘Prof. Dr. Juan P. Garrahan’, C1245AAM Buenos Aires, Argentina
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Poxvirus skin disease has been reported in several species of cetaceans, principally in odontocetes, and a single report in mysticetes. Southern right whales Eubalaena australis in Peninsula Valdes, Argentina, show a variety of skin lesions of unknown etiology, and the number of these lesions has increased in recent years. Samples from dead whales were taken in order to establish the etiology of these lesions. One calf and one adult presented ring-type lesions, characterized by a circumscribed and slightly raised area of skin. Lesions were histologically characterized by the presence of microvesicles and vacuolated cells in the stratum spinosum, along with hyperplasia of the stratum corneum and eosinophilic inclusion bodies in the cytoplasm of the epithelial cells. Transmission electron microscopy showed aggregations of virions with typical poxvirus morphology. PCR of cetacean poxvirus (CPV) DNA polymerase, DNA topoisomerase I and parapoxvirus DNA polymerase gene fragments was done, and confirmed the presence of poxvirus in one sample. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the detected poxvirus belongs to the CPV-2 group. This is the first confirmed report of poxvirus in southern right whales in Argentina.


KEY WORDS: Cetacean poxvirus · Skin disease · Southern right whale · Eubalaena australis


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Cite this article as: Fiorito C, Palacios C, Golemba M, Bratanich A and others (2015) Identification, molecular and phylogenetic analysis of poxvirus in skin lesions of southern right whale. Dis Aquat Org 116:157-163. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02918

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