Recently, herpes viruses have been detected in different cetacean species from the Atlantic and in Mediterranean striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). While pathogens such as cetacean morbillivirus have been widely studied following recent epizootics, herpesvirus (HV) distribution and pathogenic effects in cetaceans are still understudied. This study reports the first molecular identification of a Gammaherpesvirus in the genital mucosa of a free-living Mediterranean bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) stranded off the coast of central Italy. Sequenced herpesviral PCR product was closely related to other HVs recently isolated in the genital mucosa of various cetacean species.
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