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.

Animals, Base Sequence, Comparative Study, Distemper Virus, Canine/*genetics, Distemper/prevention & control/virology, Dogs, Lions/*virology, Molecular Sequence Data, Morbillivirus/genetics, Phylogeny, Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid, Tanzania,
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

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