Advanced search
Start date
(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Cetacean morbillivirus in Humpback whales' exhaled breath

Full text
Groch, Katia R. [1] ; Blazquez, Diana N. H. [1] ; Marcondes, Milton C. C. [2] ; Santos, Joana [2] ; Colosio, Adriana [2] ; Delgado, Josue Diaz [1] ; Catao-Dias, Jose L. [1]
Total Authors: 7
[1] Univ Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo - Brazil
[2] Inst Baleia Jubarte, Caravelas - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 2
Document type: Journal article
Source: TRANSBOUNDARY AND EMERGING DISEASES; v. 68, n. 4, p. 1736-1743, JUL 2021.
Web of Science Citations: 1

The humpback whale (HW; Megaptera novaeangliae) population that seasonally resides along the Brazilian coast concentrates in the Abrolhos Bank (Bahia and Espirito Santo states) for breeding during austral winter and spring. Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV, Paramyxoviridae family) is currently one of the most significant biological threats to cetaceans worldwide with high infection and mortality rates. CeMV is pleiotropic yet it has special tropism for the respiratory, lymphoid and nervous system and is primarily transmitted by the aerogenous route. A new lineage of CeMV, the Guiana dolphin morbillivirus (GDMV), is known to affect cetaceans off Brazil. GDMV was first detected in a Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis) stranded in the Abrolhos Bank region, in 2010. In addition to pathologic examinations on stranded HW, pathogen survey of free-ranging HW may provide valuable insight into the epidemiology of diseases. We hypothesized that HW in the Brazilian breeding ground could be exposed to CeMV. Thus, in the present study, we investigated the presence of CeMV in exhaled breath condensates (EBC) of HW in the Abrolhos Bank. Overall, 73 samples of EBC from 48 groups of HW were collected during the breeding seasons of 2011 (n = 16) and 2012 (n = 57). One sample failed to have the reference gene amplified and was excluded from the study. CeMV was detected by a RT-qPCR method in 2 EBC samples, representing 2 whale groups. Phylogenetic analysis of partial morbillivirus phosphoprotein gene showed 100% homology to GDMV. Our results show that HW in Brazil are infected by CeMV with a relative prevalence of 4.3% (2/47) and demonstrate the suitability of using EBC and RT-qPCR as a non-invasive tool for CeMV survey in free-ranging whales. This pioneer study provides scientific basis for non-invasive CeMV monitoring of HW, suggests HW may play a role in the dynamics of CeMV and raises concern for potential conservation implications for this species. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 15/00735-6 - Research and characterization of Morbiliviruses of cetaceans in Brazil
Grantee:Jose Luiz Catao Dias
Support type: Regular Research Grants
FAPESP's process: 19/11053-4 - Research of Morbillivirus in exhaled air samples of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) through biomolecular analysis (RT-qPCR)
Grantee:Diana Netto Hernandez Blazquez
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
FAPESP's process: 17/02223-8 - Comparative immunopathology of cetacean morbillivirus infection: histologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular studies
Grantee:Josué Díaz Delgado
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 15/05043-5 - Pathology of Morbillivirus and assessment of selected co-infections in cetaceans From the Brazilian coast
Grantee:Kátia Regina Groch
Support type: Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor