Bottlenose Dolphin Adenovirus 1 and California Sea Lion Adenovirus 1: Genome Characterization and Development of qPCR Testing
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2012

Galaxia Cortes-Hinojosa1,2, DVM; Kali Standorf1, BS; Frances M.D. Gulland3, VetMB, MRCVS, PhD; Tracey Goldstein4, PhD; Stephanie Venn-Watson5, DVM, MPH; Rebecca Rivera6,7, PhD; Gregory C. Gray2, MD, MPH, FIDSA; James F.X. Wellehan, Jr.1, DVM, PhD, DACZM, DACVM (Virology, Bacteriology/Mycology)

1Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 2Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 3The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito, CA, USA; 4Wildlife Health Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA, USA; 5National Marine Mammal Foundation, San Diego, CA, USA; 6Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, Center for Marine Veterinary Virology, San Diego, CA, USA; 7Navy Marine Mammal Program, San Diego, CA, USA


Adenoviruses are non-enveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses with a medium-sized genome of 26–45 kbp. Adenoviruses are generally host specific, with many studies showing host-pathogen codivergence. The family Adenoviridae is widely distributed among vertebrates, and there are five recognized genera of adenoviruses: Mastadenovirus, Aviadenovirus, Atadenovirus, Siadenovirus, and Ichtadenovirus.1 Of these, Mastadenovirus and Atadenovirus are known to infect mammals. Members of the genus Mastadenovirus are only found in mammals and are likely to originate in that group. In cetaceans, although there is evidence of adenoviruses in beluga, bowhead, and sei whales, no characterization has been done.2 In California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), adenovirus was first associated with hepatitis in 1979 and initial sequence characterization of a partial mastadenoviral polymerase gene has recently been reported.3,4 Genomic characterization of California sea lion adenovirus 1 and bottlenose dolphin adenovirus 1 reveal that they are mastadenoviruses that cluster with viruses from other laurasiatherian hosts. Further, we present development of quantitative PCR assays to be used for surveillance and epidemiologic studies of these viruses, enabling rapid diagnosis. Ecology and evolution of these viruses will be discussed.


This work was funded by grant No. N00014-09-1-0252 from the Office of Naval Research and by NOAA contract 00090868 to JFXW. This study was supported by the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific).

Literature Cited

1.  Benko M, Harrach B. Molecular evolution of adenoviruses. In: Doerfler W, Bohm P, eds. Adenoviruses: Model and Vectors in Virus Host Interactions. New York NY: Springer; 2011:3–35.

2.  Van Bressem M, Van Waerebeek K, Raga JA. A review of virus infections of cetaceans and the potential impact of morbilliviruses, poxviruses, and papillomaviruses on host population dynamics. Dis Aquat Org. 1999;38:53–65.

3.  Dierauf LA, Lowenstine LJ, Jerome C. Viral hepatitis (adenovirus) in a California sea lion. JAVMA. 1981;179:1194–1197.

4.  Goldstein T, Colegrove KM, Hanson M, Gulland FM. Isolation of a novel adenovirus from California sea lions Zalophus californianus. Dis Aquat Org. 2011;94:243–248.


Speaker Information
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James F.X. Wellehan, Jr., DVM, PhD, DACZM, DACVM (Virology, Bacteriology/Mycology)
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL, USA

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