Mass die-off of Caspian seals caused by canine distemper virus

S Kennedy, T Kuiken, P D Jepson, R Deaville, M Forsyth, T Barrett, M W G van de Bildt, A D M E Osterhaus, T Eybatov, C Duck, A Kydyrmanov, I Mitrofanov, S Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Citations (Scopus)


Thousands of Caspian seals (Phoca caspica) died in the Caspian Sea from April to August 2000. Lesions characteristic of morbillivirus infection were found in tissue specimens from dead seals. Canine distemper vi rus infection was identified by serologic examination, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and sequencing of selected P gene fragments. These results implicate canine distemper virus infection as the primary cause of death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-639
Number of pages3
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2000

Cite this