Poxviruses pp 167-181 | Cite as

Genus Capripoxvirus

  • Adama Diallo
  • Gerrit J. Viljoen
Part of the Birkhäuser Advances in Infectious Diseases book series (BAID)


The Capripoxvirus genus is composed of three closely related viruses: Goatpox virus (GTPV), Sheeppox virus (SPPV) and Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV). The natural hosts from which these were isolated include goats, sheep and cattle, respectively, although domestic buffaloes are also susceptible to LSDV. Cross protection can be induced by all three viruses. Unfortunately, serological distinction between these viruses is not possible. Previous classification was based only on animal host origins, but today differentiation is possible using genomic DNA restriction digestion patterns or comparisons of gene sequences. Although most strains grow readily in goat, sheep or cattle, their pathogenicities may differ according to the animal origin. The diseases they cause are characterized by fever, papules, and nodular and sometimes pustular lesions on the skin. The nodules can be also found in internal organs, particularly the lungs. They induce immune depression in infected hosts, thereby favoring secondary bacterial infections with an associated increase in the mortality rate. A high morbidity is, however, usually observed with economic implications in the case of lumpy skin disease, such as loss of milk production in cows, infertility in bulls following orchitis and damage caused to hides. Capripoxvirus diseases are of a transboundary nature and are on the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE: Office International des Epizooties) list of important animal diseases that need to be notified. The geographical distributions of these three viruses differ: whereas sheeppox and goatpox viruses are endemic to Asia, the Middle East and Africa south of the equator, LSDV is mainly confined to sub-Saharan Africa. These differences in geographical distribution may be an indication that GTPV and SPPV evolved separately from LSDV.


Rift Valley Fever Rift Valley Fever Virus Trop Anim Health Prod Lumpy Skin Disease Virus Rinderpest Virus 


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© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adama Diallo
    • 1
  • Gerrit J. Viljoen
    • 2
  1. 1.Animal Production Unit, FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology LaboratoryInternational Atomic Energy AgencyViennaAustria
  2. 2.Animal Production and Health Section, FAO/IAEA Joint DivisionInternational Atomic Energy Agency (AIEA)ViennaAustria

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