Parapoxviruses (PPV), of the family , cause a pustular cutaneous disease in sheep and goats (orf virus, ORFV) and cattle (pseudocowpoxvirus, PCPV and bovine papular stomatitis virus, BPSV). Here, we present the first genomic sequence of a reference strain of PCPV (VR634) along with the genomic sequence of a PPV (F00.120R) isolated in Finland from reindeer (). The F00.120R and VR634 genomes are 135 and 145 kb in length and contain 131 and 134 putative genes, respectively, with their genome organization being similar to that of other PPVs. The predicted proteins of F00.120R and VR634 have an average amino acid sequence identity of over 95 %, whereas they share only 88 and 73 % amino acid identity with the ORFV and BPSV proteomes, respectively. The most notable differences were found near the genome termini. F00.120R lacks six and VR634 lacks three genes seen near the right terminus of other PPVs. Four genes at the left end of F00.120R and one in the middle of both genomes appear to be fragmented paralogues of other genes within the genome. VR634 has larger than expected inverted terminal repeats possibly as a result of genomic rearrangements. The high G+C content (64 %) of these two viruses along with amino acid sequence comparisons and whole genome phylogenetic analyses confirm the classification of PCPV as a separate species within the genus and verify that the virus responsible for an outbreak of contagious stomatitis in reindeer over the winter of 1999–2000 can be classified as PCPV.


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