Recently an epizootic, reported to be due to a morbillivirus infection, affected the lion population of the Tanzanian Serengeti National Park. A morbillivirus phosphoprotein (P) gene fragment was amplified by PCR from tissue samples of several affected lions. Sequencing of the amplificates and subsequent phylogenetic analyses revealed that a wild-type strain of canine distemper morbillivirus (CDV) was involved. Vaccination of the local domestic dog population with proven safe CDV vaccines is proposed.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Harder, T., Kenter, M., Appel, M., Roelke-Parker, M., Barrett, T., & Osterhaus, A. (1995). Phylogenetic evidence of canine distemper virus in Serengeti's lions. Vaccine, 13(6), 521–523. doi:10.1016/0264-410X(95)00024-U