The two morbilliviruses rinderpest virus (RPV) and peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) are closely related and cause severe disease in large and small ruminants, respectively. They show distinct epidemiological patterns and are distinguishable by reciprocal cross-neutralization tests. We have analysed the proteins induced by these viruses in infected cells and have shown that they can be distinguished by a very marked difference in the apparent mol. wt. of the nucleocapsid (N) protein. The N protein of PPRV is almost identical in mobility on polyacrylamide gels to the N proteins of measles virus and canine distemper virus (60K). Several strains of RPV and PPRV from widespread geographical locations were studied and found to show this difference in the N protein.


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