eCite Digital Repository

Arbovirus of Marine Mammals: a New Alphavirus Isolated from the Elephant Seal Louse, Lepidophthirus macrorhini


Linn, ML and Gardner, J and Warrilow, D and Darnell, GA and McMahon, CR and Field, IC and Hyatt, AD and Slade, RW and Suhrbier, A, Arbovirus of Marine Mammals: a New Alphavirus Isolated from the Elephant Seal Louse, Lepidophthirus macrorhini, Journal of Virology, 75, (9) pp. 4103-4109. ISSN 0022-538X (2001) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1128/JVI.75.9.4103-4109.2001


A novel alphavirus was isolated from the louse Lepidophthirus macrorhini, collected from southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, on Macquarie Island, Australia. The virus displayed classic alphavirus ultrastructure and appeared to be serologically different from known Australasian alphaviruses. Nearly all Macquarie Island elephant seals tested had neutralizing antibodies against the virus, but no virus-associated pathology has been identified. Antarctic Division personnel who have worked extensively with elephant seals showed no serological evidence of exposure to the virus. Sequence analysis illustrated that the southern elephant seal (SES) virus segregates with the Semliki Forest group of Australasian alphaviruses. Phylogenetic analysis of known alphaviruses suggests that alphaviruses might be grouped according to their enzootic vertebrate host class. The SES virus represents the first arbovirus of marine mammals and illustrates that alphaviruses can inhabit Antarctica and that alphaviruses can be transmitted by lice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Field, IC (Dr Iain Field)
ID Code:22725
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:73
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2001-08-01
Last Modified:2004-12-06

Repository Staff Only: item control page