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Outbreak of a Systemic Form of Camelpox in a Dromedary Herd (Camelus dromedarius) in the United Arab Emirates

Camelpox virus (CMLV) is the causative agent of camelpox, which frequently occurs in the Old World camelids-rearing countries except for Australia. It has also been described in experimentally inoculated New World camelids. Camelpox outbreaks are often experienced shortly after the rainy season, which occurs twice a year on the Arabian Peninsula because of the increased density of the insect population, particularly mosquitos. A systemic form of camelpox outbreak in seven dromedary camels was diagnosed by histology, virus isolation, and PCR. A phylogenetic analysis using full length CMLV genomes of the isolated CMLV strains showed a single phylogenetic unit without any distinctive differences between them. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) isolate sequences showed phylogenetical relatedness with CMLV isolates from Israel with only minor sequence differences. Although the sequences of viruses from both countries were closely related, the disease manifestation was vastly different. Our study shows that the virulence is not only determined by genetic features of CMLV alone but may also depend on other factors such as unknown aspects of the host (e.g., age, overall fitness), management, and the environment.



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