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Can Vet J. 1986 Aug; 27(8): 301–306.
PMCID: PMC1680293

Sheep Pox: Experimental Studies with a West African Isolate


Under conditions of a maximum security laboratory, four cross-bred sheep were inoculated intradermally only or intradermally and intratracheally with a West African isolate of sheep pox virus. All sheep had increased temperature and depression by the fourth or fifth day after infection. Nasal and lacrimal discharge and coughing occurred in all sheep but were more severe in sheep receiving the virus via the tracheal route. From the fifth day after infection, numerous papular erythematous skin lesions developed at the inoculation sites. These were 3-7 mm in diameter and gradually became nodular. Some of these lesions healed and others coalesced to form tumorlike masses. In one sheep, euthanized 14 days after intradermal and intratracheal inoculation, nodular lesions were found in the skin around the eyes, nostrils, oral and perianal regions, the mucosa of the rumen and throughout the lungs. Histologically, skin nodules were characterized by ischemic necrosis, vasculitis, microvesicualtion, eosinophilic cytoplasmic inclusions in the dermal epithelial cells and vacuolar nuclear degeneration. The pulmonary lesion was that of proliferative alveolitis with occasional cytoplasmic inclusions in the alveolar cells and macrophages. Ultrastructurally, large cuboidal virus particles were found both in the skin lesion and inoculated tissue cultures. The sheep pox virus structure was easily distinguished from contagious ecthyma virus, a parapoxvirus which causes sporadic disease in Canada. Serum neutralizing antibodies developed in all the sheep by 14 days postinfection.

The clinical and pathological characteristics of experimental sheep pox produced with this West African isolate were similar to those caused by Neethling virus of lumpy skin disease in cattle.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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