Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

First detection of Feline morbillivirus infection in white-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris, lund, 1840), a non-feline host.

Abstract

Feline Morbillivirus (FeMV) was first detected in 2012 in domestic cats from Hong Kong and was found to be associated with tubulointerstitial nephritis and chronic kidney disease. In subsequent studies in other countries, FeMV was detected in asymptomatic cats. However, it is not clear whether FeMV plays a role as a pathogen in the kidney diseases of cats, and other epidemiological data are still unknown. To date, studies have reported the presence of FeMV exclusively in domestic cats. This study is the first molecular detection of the FeMV RNA associated with pathological and immunohistochemical findings in a synanthropic marsupial, the white-eared opossum (Didelphis albiventris), inhabiting peri-urban areas of north-central Parana, Southern Brazil. Molecular techniques identified the viral RNA in the lungs and kidneys. Histopathologic evaluation of these tissues revealed interstitial pneumonia in the lungs with lymphocytic nephritis and tubular necrosis in the kidneys. Immunohistochemistry assays detected positive intralesional immunoreactivity to N protein of FeMV within the lungs and kidneys. A FeMV opossum strain was isolated in Crandell Rees feline kidney lineage cells, resulting in syncytia formation and cell death. Therefore, these results support the ability of FeMV to infect other mammal species and reinforce the possibility of the opossum to be a disseminator of this virus among domestic and wild animals.