The rinderpest virus is a close relative of the measles virus that infects humans. The rinderpest and measles lineages are thought to have diverged less than a thousand years ago. Both the rinderpest and measles viruse are placed in the genus Morbillivirus, along with dolphin and porpoise morbillivirus, canine distemper virus, phocid distemper virus, and peste des petits ruminants virus. Genetically and antigenetically, however, the measles virus is most similar to rinderpest virus.
- Furuse, Y., A. Suzuki, and H. Oshitani. 2010. Origin of measles virus: divergence from rinderpest virus between the 11th and 12th centuries. Virology Journal 7: 52.
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