Avian pox in Shearwaters on Lord Howe Island

Subir Sarker, Shubhagata Das, Jennifer L. Lavers, Ian Hutton, Karla Helbig, Chris Upton, Jacob Imbery, Shane Raidal

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Avipoxvirus infections occur in a wide range of bird species worldwide. In Australia pox is common in the Australian magpie (Cracticus tibicen), Currawongs (Strepera spp.) and Silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis) but very little is known about the evolution of this family of viruses or the disease ecology of avian poxviruses in seabirds. Pox lesions have been seen in colonies of Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta) in Bass Strait but the epidemiology of pox in pelagic birds is not very well elucidated. Two novel avipoxvirus species demonstrated in Flesh-footed Shearwater (A. carneipes) and Wedge-tailed Shearwater (A. pacificus) (SWPV-2) recently discovered in birds from Lord Howe Island had relatively close relationships with Canarypox virus, particularly within the highly conserved polymerase gene of these viruses. This raised some concern regarding the potential for cosmopolitan pathogens to spill over into wildlife. However, the results highlight how mistakes in interpretation could occur if only highly conserved genes are used to detect and or characterise viral infections. The results also contribute to a deeper understanding of the genetic relationships and likely complex epidemiology among avipoxvirus species in wildlife species.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociation of Avian Veterinarians Australasian Committee
Subtitle of host publicationAdvancing and Promoting Avian Medicine and Stewardship
PublisherAssociation of Avian Veterinarians, Australasian Committee (AAVAC)
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2017
EventAssociation of Avian Veterinarians Australasian Committee Annual Conference: AAVAC 2017 - Rydges Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 28 Nov 201730 Nov 2017


ConferenceAssociation of Avian Veterinarians Australasian Committee Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


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