Archives of Virology

, Volume 104, Issue 1–2, pp 19–33 | Cite as

Studies on poxvirus infection in cats

  • M. Bennett
  • R. M. Gaskell
  • C. J. Gaskell
  • D. Baxby
  • D. F. Kelly
Original Papers


The development of clinical disease and the pathogenesis of cowpox were studied in domestic cats inoculated by a variety of routes. Intradermal titration in two cats demonstrated that as little as five pfu of cowpox virus caused a primary skin lesion. Intradermal inoculation of ⩾105 pfu cowpox virus resulted in severe systemic disease. Large amounts of virus (⩾103 pfu/g) were isolated from skin lesions and the turbinates of cats killed at eight and 11 days post-inoculation (dpi). Lesser amounts of virus (≃102 pfu/g) were isolated from lymphoid tissues and the lung, and small amounts of virus were isolated from various other tissues. A white cell-associated viraemia was detected from 5 dpi onwards. Skin scarification with 103 or 50 pfu cowpox virus enabled reproduction of the naturally-acquired disease. Cat-to-cat transmission was demonstrated from cats inoculated by skin scarification, but caused only subclinical infection in sentinel cats. Oronasal inoculation resulted in transient coryza and milder generalized disease than skin inoculation, and no transmission to sentinel cats. Preliminary investigations showed vaccinia virus (Lister strain) to be of low infectivity in cats while inoculation of ectromelia virus (Mill Hill strain) did not cause any clinical signs.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Bennett
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • R. M. Gaskell
    • 1
  • C. J. Gaskell
    • 2
  • D. Baxby
    • 3
  • D. F. Kelly
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary PathologyUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Clinical ScienceUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  3. 3.Department of Medical MicrobiologyUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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