Molecular characterisation of a novel pathogenic avipoxvirus from an Australian passerine bird, mudlark (Grallina cyanoleuca)

Subir Sarker, Ajani Athukorala, Shane R Raidal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Avipoxviruses have been recognised as significant pathogens in the conservation of numerous bird species. However, the vast majority of the avipoxviruses that infect wild birds remain uncharacterised. Here, we characterise a novel avipoxvirus, mudlarkpox virus (MLPV) isolated from an Australian passerine bird, mudlark (Grallina cyanoleuca). In this study, tissues with histopathologically confirmed lesions consistent with avian pox were used for transmission electron microscopy, and showed characteristic ovoid to brick-shaped virions, indicative of infectious particles. The MLPV genome was >342.7 Kbp in length and contained six predicted novel genes and a further six genes were missing compared to shearwaterpox virus-2 (SWPV-2). Subsequent phylogenetic analyses of the MLPV genome positioned the virus within a distinct subclade also containing recently characterised avipoxvirus genomes from shearwater, canary and magpie bird species, and demonstrated a high degree of sequence similarity with SWPV-2 (94.92%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
JournalVirology
Volume554
Early online date28 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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