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Arch Virol. 1978;56(1-2):7-14.

Identification and study of a poxvirus isolated from wild rodents in Turkmenia.


A new poxvirus was isolated in 1974 from the kidney of a wild big gerbil (Rhombomys opimus) caught in Turkmenia, where these gerbils are wide-spread. The virus resembles cowpox virus and is markedly different from the virus of infectious ectromelia, the best-known poxvirus of rodents. The new virus is apparently identical to other poxvirus isolates made from white rats and Felidae in the Moscow Zoo. Experimental inoculation of the natural hosts--big gerbils and yellow susliks (Citellus fulvus)--produced a severe infection with a high mortality rate. Trnasmission of virus to uninoculated cage mates was shown to occur. Virus persisted in convalescent animals and was present in urine 3 weeks after inoculation and in kidney and testis for at least 5 weeks after inoculation. The role of rodents as natural hosts of poxviruses is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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