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The cause of a recent outbreak of a serious disease of seals in the North and Baltic Seas, in which so far, over 9000 of the population of 16,000 animals have died, was investigated. Three viruses have been considered as the possible causative agents: a herpesvirus, a picornavirus and canine distemper virus. It was concluded mainly on the basis of serological data that canine distemper virus was the primary cause of the outbreak. The role of other factors on the extent and the severity of the outbreak needs to be investigated.
The sensitivity of a newly developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for detection of antibody to K virus was compared with the sensitivities of an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and a hemagglutination inhibition assay (HIA). Specific pathogen-free BALB/c RIVM mice, 5 weeks old, were inoculated intraperitoneally with a mouse organ suspension containing 10(4.5) TCID50 of K virus per dose. Control animals were inoculated with a control mouse organ suspension. No clinical signs were observed during the 7 weeks they were followed for the development of serum antibody. The ELISA proved to be the most sensitive of the three assays and demonstrated K virus-specific antibodies as early as 3 days after infection.
Serological findings which had showed that the primary cause of the recent outbreak of serious disease of seals in the seas of North-Western Europe, is infection with canine distemper virus, were confirmed by in vivo and in vitro isolation of the virus from seals which had died at different locations during the outbreak. The virus which proved to be pathogenic for dogs, was characterised as canine distemper virus on the basis of immunofluorescence, virus neutralisation and electron microscopical studies.
An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for the detection and quantification of IgM and IgG serum antibodies to mouse polyomavirus (MPV). To evaluate the potential of this ELISA for the screening of laboratory rodents, serum samples from specific pathogen free (SPF) BALB/c RIVM mice, collected after experimental intraperitoneal infection with MPV, were tested by this assay. The results were compared with those obtained from the same sera in an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and a haemagglutination inhibition assay (HIA). The ELISA proved to be the most sensitive of the 3 assays, allowing the detection of seropositive animals within 7 days post-infection and giving antibody titres that were about 4 to 8 times higher than those found in the IFA and HIA respectively. More than 5000 serum samples from non-infected specif...
A virus with rhabdovirus morphology which proved to be antigenically distinct from rabies virus and vesicular stomatitis virus was isolated from a dolphin that had beached on the Dutch coast. Neutralizing antibodies to this virus were found in several European marine mammal species.
During a recent disease outbreak among harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) in the North and Baltic seas, more than 17,000 animals have died. The clinical symptoms and pathological findings were similar to those of distemper in dogs. Based on a seroepizootiological study, using a canine distemper virus (CDV) neutralization assay, it was shown that CDV or a closely related morbillivirus (phocid distemper virus-PDV) was the primary cause of the disease. The virus was isolated in cell culture from the organs of dead seals and characterized as a morbillivirus by serology (immunofluorescence neutralization and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays) and by negative contrast electron microscopy. Experimental infection of SPF dogs resulted in the development of mild clinical signs of distemper and CDV-neutralizing antibodies. The disease was reproduced...
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