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Phylogenetic analysis and characterization of Korean orf virus from dairy goats: case report

DOI: 10.1186/1743-422x-6-167

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Contagious ecthyma (contagious pustular dermatitis; orf) is a common epitheliotrophic viral disease of sheep, goats, and wild ruminants and is characterized by the formation of papules, nodules, or vesicles that progress into thick crusts or heavy scabs on the lips, gingiva, and tongue. Orf virus is an oval, enveloped virus containing dsDNA genome within the genus Parapoxvirus, family Poxviridae [1]. The genus also includes pseudocowpox virus (PCPV) and bovine papular stomatitis virus (BPSV) in cattle and parapoxvirus of red deer in New Zealand. Zoonotic infection with orf virus is characterized by nodular and papillomatous lesions mainly on the hands, face, and mouth [2,3].To reveal the genetic variation and characterization of parapoxvirus, the major virus envelope protein B2L and virus interferon resistance (VIR) genes have been used recently [4-8]. Orf virus infection has been diagnosed occasionally in Korea since the outbreak of orf was reported clinically in the 1990s. Although a few studies have been conducted, molecular epidemiology based on gene sequences of orf virus has not been performed because the population of sheep and goats is low in Korea. In the present study, orf virus infection in dairy goats was identified by clinical diagnosis and PCR. The complete B2L and VIR genes were sequenced, and their phylogenetic trees were constructed.In April 2009, an exanthematic outbreak occurred in a farm with 400 dairy goats in the Chungbuk province. Sixty dairy goats presented with wart-like lesions on the lips, tongue, and around the anus (Fig. 1A and 1B). The clinical diagnosis was contagious ecthyma. Morbidity was 15% (60/400), and goats of all the ages ranging from 2 weeks to 1 month were affected. Dried scabs collected from affected goats were stored in a -70°C freezer until the samples were used for further study.The tissue samples were either fixed in 10% buffered formalin for histological examination, or were homogenized mechanically in PBS in a tube usi


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