|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication:||2001|
|Authors:||M. L. Linn, Gardner, J., Warrilow, D., Darnell, G. A., McMahon, C. R., Field, I., Hyatt, A. D., Slade, R. W., Suhrbier, A.|
|Journal:||Journal of Virology|
|Pagination:||4103 - 4109|
|Keywords:||disease, evolution, island, macquarie, mirounga leonina, phylogeny, RNA, sequence, trees, virus|
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,vith 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.