Herpes virus infection associated with interstitial nephritis in a beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris)

BMC Vet Res. 2012 Dec 13;8:243. doi: 10.1186/1746-6148-8-243.


Background: The capacity for herpesvirus to cause disease in cetaceans is unclear and may be varied depending on the different conditions of individuals and between different species. Kidney pathology and intralesional virus-associated infection have been rarely reported in cetaceans.

Result: On April 2004, an old adult male Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) 420 cm long with a poor body condition was stranded on Tenerife Island. During necropsy, no gross lesions were observed in the kidneys. However, membranous glomerulonephritis, multifocal interstitial lymphoplasmacytic nephritis and acute multifocal necrotizing tubulointerstitial nephritis with intranuclear inclusion bodies was diagnosed by histological analysis. Tissue samples were submitted for bacteriological analysis and molecular viral screening.

Conclusion: A novel alpha herpesvirus associated with interstitial nephritis was identified in an old adult male Blainville's beaked whale (M. densirostris) with a poor body condition stranded in the Canary Islands. This report suggests that identification of herpesvirus infection could be used as a differential diagnosis for interstitial nephritis in cetaceans.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Viral / chemistry
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Herpesviridae / genetics
  • Herpesviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Herpesviridae / ultrastructure
  • Herpesviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / virology
  • Immunohistochemistry / veterinary
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron / veterinary
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / veterinary*
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / virology
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spain
  • Whales / virology*


  • DNA, Viral

Associated data

  • GENBANK/JN863234