Ten virus isolates were obtained from three species of marine mammals sampled on San Miguel Island (California, USA) and 1,200 km north on Rogue Reef (Oregon, USA) during tagging operations in 1986–87. Seven of these 10 were derived from 30 sampled Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus pups, while two of 10 were isolated from one of 19 sampled California sea lion (Zalophus californianus californianus pups, and the remaining isolate was derived from 30 sampled northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus) pups. All 10 isolates were identified as belonging to a single serotype, reptilian calicivirus Crotalus type 1 (RCV Cro-1), previously isolated from both healthy and diseased snakes and frogs in a California zoologie collection. The marine samples also showed that nine of 30 Steller sea lion pups, one of 19 California sea lion pups and zero of 30 fur seal pups were producing type specific neutralizing antibodies to RCV Cro-1. This represents the first reported instance of the isolation from marine sources of a calicivirus originally isolated from a terrestrial species.
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Vol. 34 • No. 3