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Molecular characterisation of a novel pathogenic avipoxvirus from an Australian little crow (Corvus bennetti) directly from the clinical sample

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posted on 2023-07-17, 05:11 authored by Subir SarkerSubir Sarker, M Sutherland
Avipoxviruses are thought to be restricted to avian hosts and considered significant pathogens that may impact the conservation of many birds. However, reports of avipoxvirus-like viruses from reptiles suggest that cross-species transmission, within birds and other species, may be possible. The vast majority of avipoxviruses in wild birds remain uncharacterised and their genetic variability is unclear. Here, cutaneous pox lesions were used to recover a novel full-length crowpox virus genome from an Australian little crow (Corvus bennetti), followed by the detection of immature and intracellular mature virions using electron microscopy. The CRPV genome was 328,768 bp in length and contained 403 predicted open-reading frames. While 356 of the ORFs of CRPV genome had the greatest similarity with other avipoxviruses gene products, a further 47 ORFs were novel. Subsequent phylogenetic analyses showed that the CRPV was most closely related to other avipoxviruses isolated from passerine and marine bird species and demonstrated the highest sequence similarity with an albatrosspox virus (84.4%). Considering the sequence similarity observed between CRPV and other avipoxviruses and phylogenetic position, this study concluded that the CRPV to be a distinct available candidate of avipoxviruses.


Subir Sarker is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (Grant Number DE200100367) funded by the Australian Government.


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Scientific Reports



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Springer Nature



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