Establishment of a Challenge Model for Sheeppox Virus Infection
Sheeppox virus (SPPV) together with goatpox virus and lumpy skin disease virus form the genus Capripoxvirus of the Poxviridae family. Due to their great economic importance and major impact on livelihood of small-scale farmers, OIE guidelines classify capripox viruses as notifiable diseases. In the present study, we examined pathogenesis of an Indian SPPV isolate and an Egyptian SPPV isolate in sheep. Three different infection routes were tested: (i) intravenous infection, (ii) intranasal infection and (iii) contact transmission between infected and naïve sheep. Clinical course, viremia and viral shedding as well as seroconversion were analyzed in order to establish a challenge model for SPPV infections that can be used in future vaccine studies. Next to in vivo characterization, both SPPV strains underwent next- and third-generation sequencing to obtain high quality full-length genomes for genetic characterization and comparison to already published SPPV sequences.