Identical sequences of the highly conserved N and P genes were obtained from dolphins 2 and 3; these genes showed 79%-83% (dolphin 2) and 75%-79% (dolphin 3) nucle otide identity to sequences of CeMV strains from GenBank.
We found CeMV in dolphins that died in the Indian Ocean in 2009; this finding thus predates reports of the virus in animals on the eastern coast of Australia (1,3) and recent confirmation of the virus in South Australia (C.
During mass mortality events involving various species that were ultimately attributed to CeMV on the US Atlantic coast (1982, 1987-1988) and Gulf Coast (1993-1994) (10,13) and in the Mediterranean Sea (1990-1992 and 2006-2007) (10), opportunistic infections were common (1,10).
In summary, sequence analysis of the morbillivirus from the dead Guiana dolphin suggests that the virus is a novel strain of the CeMV species; this conclusion is supported by phylogenic analysis and geographic distribution of the virus and by its distinct host.
The sequence data from our study suggest that the virus from the Guiana dolphin calf is the fourth member of the CeMV group and is closer to the root of the CeMV clade than to that of DMV, PMV, or PWMV.