What is it about?

Many viruses that infect humans are derived from viruses that infect animals. The measles virus is one such virus, which is derived from a cow (bovine) virus. Canine distemper virus, which mainly infects dogs, could also easily adapt to be infectious to humans.

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Why is it important?

Viruses classified in the genus Morbillivirus are the most infectious and highly virulent viruses. There is no guarantee that a novel morbillivirus will not emerge to infect humans. To prepare for such risks, it is important to understand the current situation.

Perspectives

Measles virus is a human morbillivirus and there are various animal morbilliviruses.The scientific data suggested that the species barrier for morbilliviruses may be surprisingly low. We should always keep in mind the risk of morbillivirus in animals infecting humans.

Dr Makoto Takeda
National Institute of Infectious Diseases

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This page is a summary of: Animal morbilliviruses and their cross-species transmission potential, Current Opinion in Virology, April 2020, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.coviro.2020.03.005.
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