Avipoxvirus in great tits (Parus major)
A total of six cases and 37 suspect cases of skin avipoxvirus infection in great tits (Parus major) have been described in central Europe since 2005. Most of the cases were diagnosed during the winter season, from October to March. Analyses of the 4b core protein gene showed identical or almost identical DNA sequence in six isolates (one from Austria, three from Hungary, and two from Czech Republic). A morphogenesis of the avipoxvirus including a constitution of acidophilic-type inclusions (ATIs) was documented by electron microscopy in cells from lesions on great tits found in Czech Republic. Moreover, the ATI body protein gene was demonstrated using polymerase chain reaction in the isolate that caused ATIs. A number of new cases of poxvirus infection in great tits have emerged in central Europe since 2005, and the reason for this sudden increase remains unknown.
KeywordsBird Virus Disease Czech Republic Slovakia Germany
We would like to thank S. Bosch, J. Cepak, J. Chytil, P. Kafka, V. Kovar, A. Kristin, P. Kverek, L. Novak, K. Novotny, P. Obona, M. Polak, T. Pospisil, J. Stolarczyk, and M. Strnad for information about findings of great tits skin lesion in the wild. This study was funded by grants nos. MSM6215712402 and MZe0002716202 from the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic and Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic, respectively. The authors declare that the study complies with the current laws of the Czech Republic.
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