Research Papers:

Canine distemper viral infection threatens the giant panda population in China

Yipeng Jin _, Xinke Zhang, Yisheng Ma, Yanchao Qiao, Xiaobin Liu, Kaihui Zhao, Chenglin Zhang, Degui Lin, Xuelian Fu, Xinrong Xu, Yiwei Wang and Huanan Wang

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:113910-113919. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23042

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Yipeng Jin1,*, Xinke Zhang2,*, Yisheng Ma4, Yanchao Qiao1, Xiaobin Liu4, Kaihui Zhao4, Chenglin Zhang5, Degui Lin1,*, Xuelian Fu1, Xinrong Xu1, Yiwei Wang1 and Huanan Wang3,*

1College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, People’s Republic of China

2College of Veterinary Medicine, Northwest A&F University, Shaanxi 712100, People’s Republic of China

3College of Animal Science, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang 310058, People’s Republic of China

4Foping National Nature Reserve, Shaanxi 723400, People’s Republic of China

5Beijing Zoo, Beijing 100044, People’s Republic of China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yipeng Jin, email: [email protected]

Degui Lin, email: [email protected]

Huanan Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: canine distemper virus; giant panda (ailuropoda melanoleuca); canine (mixed breed); foping national nature reserve

Received: April 18, 2017     Accepted: August 27, 2017     Published: December 08, 2017


We evaluated exposure to canine distemper virus (CDV) in eight wild giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and 125 unvaccinated domestic dogs living in and around Foping National Nature Reserve (FNNR), China. Seventy-two percent of unvaccinated domestic dogs (mixed breed) had neutralizing antibodies for CDV due to exposure to the disease. The eight wild giant pandas were naïve to CDV and carried no positive antibody titer. RT-PCR assays for hemagglutinin (H) gene confirmed the presence of CDV in 31 clinically ill dogs from several areas near FNNR. Genomic sequence analysis showed that the 21 canine CDV were highly homologous to each other and belonged to the Asian-1 genotype. They showed high homology with the GP01 strain sequenced from a fatally infected giant panda, suggesting cross-species infection. Observational and GPS tracking data revealed home range overlap in pandas and dogs around FNNR. This study shows that CDV is endemic in domestic dogs near FNNR and that cross-species CDV infection threatens the wild giant panda population.

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