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Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2003 Apr;110(4):137-42.

[Canine distemper virus--an agent looking for new hosts].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Institut für Pathologie, Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover, Hannover.


Canine distemper is caused by the canine distemper virus (CDV), a RNA virus belonging to the genus Morbillivirus of the family Paramyxoviridae. The genus Morbillivirus includes measles virus, Rinderpest virus and peste-des-petits-ruminants virus. The host spectrum of CDV, which includes numerous families of Carnivores, has been changed in the last years and distemper-like diseases have been observed in numerous other species. These include epidemics in large felids, marine mammals and javelinas. Different viruses have been isolated from pinnipeds including a seal-specific isolate, termed phocine distemper virus 1, PDV-1, and a CDV strain, named PDV-2. Retrospective analysis of previous epidemics among marine mammals in various regions of the world provide evidence for the occurrence of so far unrecognized morbillivirus epidemics. In some including the mass mortalities of Baikal and Caspian seals and of large felids in the Serengeti, terrestrial carnivores including dogs and wolves have been suspected as a vector for the infectious agent. However, in other epidemics among marine mammals the source of infection remains unknown including both seal epidemics in northwestern Europe in 1988 and 2002. It remains to be determined whether a morbillivirus from other marine mammals or terrestrial carnivores caused the infection in this unprotected seal populations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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