Avipoxvirus (APV) infections have been observed in a wide variety of wild, captive and domestic avian hosts, recently including a range of island endemic and endangered species. However, not enough is known about genome diversity and phylogenetic relationships of APVs, as well as their host-range specificity. A wild stone curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) was recovered in Sardinia (Italy), showing large wart-like lesions and nodules on both legs and toes, which resulted positive to poxvirus by PCR. Histopathological examination of the lesions showed ballooning degeneration and large intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies consistent with APV infection. A multiple gene sequencing approach was applied to highlight the phylogenetic relationships of this virus with a panel of selected APVs at the clade and subclade levels. This novel isolate was characterized by sequencing partial 4b core protein, P35 (locus fpv140) and DNA polymerase genes and phylogenetic analyses assigned it to clade A, (Fowlpox virus, FWPV), subclade A2. Conservation implications of avian pox presence in Sardinian stone curlews and possibly in other island bird species are discussed.
Multiple gene typing and phylogeny of avipoxvirus associated with cutaneous lesions in a stone curlew / Lecis, Roberta; Secci, Fabio; Antuofermo, Elisabetta; Nuvoli, Sara; Scagliarini, Alessandra; Pittau, Marco; Alberti, Alberto. - In: VETERINARY RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS. - ISSN 0165-7380. - 41:2(2017), pp. 77-83-83. [10.1007/s11259-016-9674-5]