- Morbilliviruses belong to the family Paramyxoviridae , and are enveloped, negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses. Members of the genus M orbillivirus are able to infect a wide range of hosts to cause varied types of disease, many of which are severe.
Canine morbillivirus infections are often referred to as “canine distemper” (CDV). Infections in domestic dogs are rare thanks to vaccination strategies, but free-roaming canines are still a source and can transmit the virus to many different species, including members of the family Felidae . Felines also have their own viral species that is often referred to as “feline panleukopoenia virus” (FPV). CDV and FPV are very similar genetically. CDV is a threat to many endangered species worldwide, including many large cat species, black-footed ferrets, red pandas, and Caspian seals.
There are at least seven lineages of canine distemper worldwide:
● Asia-1 and -2
● American-1 and -2
● European wildlife