Experimental Infection and Genetic Characterization of Two Different Capripox Virus Isolates in Small Ruminants
Capripox viruses, with their members “lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV)”, “goatpox virus (GTPV)” and “sheeppox virus (SPPV)”, are described as the most serious pox diseases of production animals. A GTPV isolate and a SPPV isolate were sequenced in a combined approach using nanopore MinION sequencing to obtain long reads and Illumina high throughput sequencing for short precise reads to gain full-length high-quality genome sequences. Concomitantly, sheep and goats were inoculated with SPPV and GTPV strains, respectively. During the animal trial, varying infection routes were compared: a combined intravenous and subcutaneous infection, an only intranasal infection, and the contact infection between naïve and inoculated animals. Sheep inoculated with SPPV showed no clinical signs, only a very small number of genome-positive samples and a low-level antibody reaction. In contrast, all GTPV inoculated or in-contact goats developed severe clinical signs with high viral genome loads observed in all tested matrices. Furthermore, seroconversion was detected in nearly all goats and no differences concerning the severity of the disease depending on the inoculation route were observed. Conclusively, the employed SPPV strain has the properties of an attenuated vaccine strain, consistent with the genetic data, whereas the GTPV strain represents a highly virulent field strain.