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J Comp Pathol. 1997 Jan;116(1):35-44.

Cowpox in British voles and mice.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Science and Animal Husbandry, University of Liverpool, UK.


Serosurveys indicate that bank voles, field voles and woodmice are probably reservoir hosts of cowpox virus in western Europe, although virus has not yet been isolated from these species. In this study, bank voles, field voles, woodmice and laboratory mice were shown to be susceptible to combined intradermal and subcutaneous inoculation with 3-20 plaque-forming units (pfu) of cowpox virus. Bank and field voles, but not laboratory mice, were also susceptible to combined oral and nasal inoculation with 50 pfu. Few clinical signs were seen and virus was generally recovered only from inoculation sites. Bank voles were not susceptible to injection of ectromelia virus (5000 pfu) into the skin (as described above). These results provide information on which further pathogenesis and transmission studies can be based, and support the view that the orthopoxvirus antibody detected in British wild voles and woodmice indicates infection with cowpox virus. However, further investigation of the pathogenesis of cowpox in these species is needed to understand better the epidemiology of the disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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