A morbillivirus of uncertain origin recently killed hundreds of Mediterranean dolphins. This is the first report of the nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequence of a dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) gene. The sequence of the nucleocapsid (N) gene including boundaries was determined. When the DMV N gene coding region was compared with the corresponding sequences of other morbilliviruses a distant evolutionary relationship between these viruses and DMV was apparent. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequence data provided further evidence that DMV is not closely related to any known morbillivirus, whereas phocine distemper virus exhibits a relatively close relationship to canine distemper virus.


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