Navigation Links
New virus discovered in stranded dolphin
Date:7/13/2013

Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and colleagues have identified a new virus associated with the death of a short-beaked dolphin found stranded on a beach in San Diego. It is the first time that a virus belonging to the polyomavirus family has been found in a dolphin. Results appear online in the journal PLOS ONE.

Polyomavirus is known to cause disease in birds, but in mammals it is usually mild or subclinical, explains lead author Simon Anthony, PhD, a researcher in the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School. "It is therefore interesting that this particular polyomavirus appears to be what killed this dolphin. It's no immediate cause for alarm, but it's an important data point in understanding this family of viruses and the diseases they cause."

This discovery will help prepare scientists for future disease outbreaks and could even be useful in solving past unsolved cases. "There are many cases of disease in animals that we never have solved," says Dr. Anthony. When we make a new discovery like this, it allows us to ask, Have we seen it before? Will we see it again?"

The dolphin, a female calf, was found dead in October 2010. Judy St. Leger, DVM, of SeaWorld in San Diego, a co-author of the study, conducted a necropsy that identified the cause of death as tracheal bronchitis with signs of an infection, which an electron microscope revealed to be of possible viral origin. To identify the culprit, she sent a biological sample to the Center for Infection and Immunity in New York, where Dr. Anthony used high throughput DNA sequencing and a number of other techniques to identify the novel polyomavirus.

Genetic analysis showed that the polyomavirus in the San Diego dolphin was distinct from other members of the virus family. Drs. Anthony and St. Leger postulate that this might be one of many such viruses that exist in dolphins and other marine mammals. They are now searching for more examples of polyomavirus in dolphins. "It's possible that many dolphins carry this virus or other polyomaviruses without significant problems. Or perhaps it's like the common cold where they get sick for a short while and recover," says Dr. St. Leger.

Dr. Anthony stresses that without more work to study the diversity and prevalence of polyomaviruses in dolphins and other marine mammals, it is difficult to know what the specific threat of this new virus is. ''We don't even know if this is even a dolphin virus. It could also represent a spillover event from another species.'' While unknown in this case, the possibility intrigues him. "Several important outbreaks in the past have resulted from viruses jumping into new hosts,'' he says, citing another Anthony-St. Leger collaboration where they documented a case of bird flu in a seal population in New England (findings were published in mBio).

But for now, the significance of the discovery of a polyomavirus in a dolphin is that it appears to be the cause of death of this animal, and as Dr. Anthony notes, "One of our main goals is to protect the health of wildlife."


'/>"/>

Contact: Timothy S. Paul
tp2111@columbia.edu
212-305-2676
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Hidden strains of HPV found in virus-negative genital warts
2. H7N9 influenza: History of similar viruses gives cause for concern
3. No danger of cancer through gene therapy virus
4. New virus discovered in patients with central nervous system infections
5. New virus isolated from patients with severe brain infections
6. Saint Louis University researchers discover a way to detect new viruses
7. New Loyola study on hepatitis C virus entry factor
8. Alios BioPharma initiates Phase 1 clinical trial for respiratory syncytial virus infection
9. Evidence of host adaptation of avian-origin influenza A virus
10. Rotavirus vaccine developed in India demonstrates strong efficacy
11. Bird flu in live poultry markets are the source of viruses causing human infections
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... June 2, 2016   The Weather Company , an ... Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers will be able ... to ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution ... can be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited ... with VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt ...  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches ... increases both security and usability. ... about this new partnership. "This marketing ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... Lithuania , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, ... released the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System ... of large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process ... accuracy using any combination of fingerprint, face or ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... supplements, is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into ... for over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the ... a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the ... WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing ... for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed a ... serve as their official health care provider. As ... provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and most ... athletes and families. "We are excited ... to bring Houston Methodist quality services and programs ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased ... and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: