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1 January 2012 Mustelid Herpesvirus-2, a Novel Herpes Infection in Northern Sea Otters (Enhydra Lutris Kenyoni)
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Oral ulcerations and plaques with epithelial eosinophilic intranuclear inclusions were observed in northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) that died or were admitted for rehabilitation after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) in Alaska, USA. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated the presence of herpesviral virions. Additionally, a serologic study from 2004 to 2005 found a high prevalence of exposure to a herpesvirus in live-captured otters. Tissues from 29 otters after the EVOS and nasal swabs from 83 live-captured otters in the Kodiak Archipelago were tested for herpesviral DNA. Analysis identified a novel herpesvirus in the gamma subfamily, most closely related to Mustelid herpesvirus-1 from badgers. Results indicated that this herpesvirus is associated with ulcerative lesions but is also commonly found in secretions of healthy northern sea otters.

Marion Tseng, Michelle Fleetwood, Aimee Reed, Verena A. Gill, R. Keith Harris, Robert B. Moeller, Thomas P. Lipscomb, Jonna A. K. Mazet, and Tracey Goldstein "Mustelid Herpesvirus-2, a Novel Herpes Infection in Northern Sea Otters (Enhydra Lutris Kenyoni)," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 48(1), 181-185, (1 January 2012).
Received: 9 June 2010; Accepted: 1 July 2011; Published: 1 January 2012

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