Characterization of an avianpox virus isolated from an Andean condor (Vultur gryphus)

Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, 2001 S. Lincoln Avenue, 61802, Urbana, IL, USA
Veterinary Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.73). 11/2003; 96(3):237-46. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-1135(03)00247-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A novel pox virus, condorpox virus (CPV) isolated from the spleen of an Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) by inoculation of chorioallantoic membranes (CAM) of specific pathogen free (SPF) chicken embryos was compared biologically, antigenically and genetically with fowlpox virus (FPV), the type species of the genus Avipoxvirus. Susceptible chickens inoculated with CPV developed only mild localized lesions but were not protected against subsequent challenge with FPV. Based on Western blotting, in addition to the presence of cross-reacting antigens, distinct differences in antigenic profiles of CPV and FPV were observed. Sequence analysis of a 4.5 kb HindIII fragment of CPV genomic DNA revealed the presence of eight co-linear genes corresponding to FPV open reading frame (ORF)193-198, 201 and 203. Interestingly, reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) sequences present in the genome of all FPV were absent in CPV. Although, the results of a phylogenic analysis suggested that CPV is a member of the genus Avipoxvirus, its unique antigenic, biologic and genetic characteristics distinguish it from FPV to be considered as a new member of this genus.

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    ABSTRACT: Implementation of conservation breeding programs is a key step to ensuring the sustainability of many endangered species. Infectious diseases can be serious threats for the success of such initiatives especially since knowledge on pathogens affecting those species is usually scarce. Houbara bustard species (Chlamydotis undulata and Chlamydotis macqueenii), whose populations have declined over the last decades, have been captive-bred for conservation purposes for more than 15 years. Avipoxviruses are of the highest concern for these species in captivity. Pox lesions were collected from breeding projects in North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia for 6 years in order to study the diversity of avipoxviruses responsible for clinical infections in Houbara bustard. Molecular and phylogenetic analyses of 113 and 75 DNA sequences for P4b and fpv140 loci respectively, revealed an unexpected wide diversity of viruses affecting Houbara bustard even at a project scale: 17 genotypes equally distributed between fowlpox virus-like and canarypox virus-like have been identified in the present study. This suggests multiple and repeated introductions of virus and questions host specificity and control strategy of avipoxviruses. We also show that the observed high virus burden and co-evolution of diverse avipoxvirus strains at endemic levels may be responsible for the emergence of novel recombinant strains.
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    Chapter: Avian Pox
    Infectious Diseases of Wild Birds, 01/2008: pages 131 - 176; , ISBN: 9780470344668