Poxviruses isolated from captive elephants in Germany have been characterized. Although related to vaccinia and even more closely to cowpox virus, the separate identity of elephantpox virus was established by both biological and serological methods. Elephantpox virus produces A-type inclusions in infected cells, as did cowpox, but had a lower ceiling temperature, was more heat resistant and affected rabbits differently. Cross neutralization tests on absorbed sera indicated that elephantpox, cowpox and vaccinia viruses shared one surface antigen, that elephantpox and vaccinia shared an antigen absent from cowpox, and that vaccinia virus had a surface antigen absent from elephantpox and cowpox viruses.


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