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Abstract

Thirteen novel avipoxviruses were isolated from birds from different regions of South Africa. These viruses could be divided into six groups, according to gross pathology and pock appearance on chick chorioallantoic membranes (CAMs). Histopathology revealed distinct differences in epidermal and mesodermal cell proliferation, as well as immune cell infiltration, caused by the different avipoxviruses, even within groups of viruses causing similar CAM gross pathology. In order to determine the genetic relationships among the viruses, several conserved poxvirus genetic regions, corresponding to vaccinia virus (VACV) A3L ( locus, VACV P4b), G8R ( locus, VLTF-1), H3L ( locus, VACV H3L) and A11R–A12L ( locus) were analysed phylogenetically. The South African avipoxvirus isolates in this study all grouped in clade A, in either subclade A2 or A3 of the genus and differ from the commercial fowlpox vaccines (subclade A1) in use in the South African poultry industry. Analysis of different loci resulted in different branching patterns. There was no correlation between gross morphology, histopathology, pock morphology and phylogenetic grouping. There was also no correlation between geographical distribution and virus phenotype or genotype.

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2013-10-01
2022-01-27
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