Capripoxvirus tissue tropism and shedding: A quantitative study in experimentally infected sheep and goats

Virology. 2008 Feb 20;371(2):380-93. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2007.10.002. Epub 2007 Nov 7.


Sheeppox virus and goatpox virus cause systemic disease in sheep and goats that is often associated with high morbidity and high mortality. To increase understanding of the pathogenesis of these diseases, we undertook quantitative time-course studies in sheep and goats following intradermal inoculation of Nigerian sheeppox virus or Indian goatpox virus in their respective homologous hosts. Viremia, determined by virus isolation and real-time PCR, cleared within 2 to 3 weeks post inoculation. Peak shedding of viral DNA and infectious virus in nasal, conjunctival and oral secretions occurred between 10 and 14 days post inoculation, and persisted at low levels for up to an additional 3 to 6 weeks. Although gross lesions developed in multiple organ systems, highest viral titers were detected in skin and in discrete sites within oronasal tissues and gastrointestinal tract. The temporal distribution of infectious virus and viral DNA in tissues suggests an underlying pathogenesis that is similar to smallpox and monkeypox where greatest viral replication occurs in the skin. Our data demonstrate that capripoxvirus infections in sheep and goats provide additional and convenient models which are suitable not only for evaluation of poxvirus-specific vaccine concepts and therapeutics, but also study of poxvirus-host interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capripoxvirus / isolation & purification
  • Capripoxvirus / pathogenicity*
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Goat Diseases / pathology*
  • Goat Diseases / virology
  • Goats / virology
  • Organ Specificity
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Poxviridae Infections / pathology
  • Poxviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Poxviridae Infections / virology
  • Sheep Diseases / pathology*
  • Sheep Diseases / virology
  • Viremia / veterinary
  • Viremia / virology
  • Virus Shedding*


  • DNA, Viral