Pathological, molecular and phylogenic study of fowlpox virus in domesticated chickens of Tikrit City, Iraq
Keywords:FPV, Skin, Nested PCR, Histopathology, FPV 167
Fowlpox virus (FPV) is one of the viruses affecting chickens worldwide, causing pathological and economic losses in the poultry industry. Viral lesions are easily recognizable by the eye and usually appear in the featherless areas, especially the head. Moreover, the virus could lead to blindness and mortality in some cases. This study diagnosed the suspected fowlpox cases, identified and classified the causative agent. We also analyzed the differences and similarities of closely related viruses at the neighboring and regional countries. Fifty samples were collected from three locations of Tikrit city from the domesticated chickens, which showed cutaneous lesions. Virus DNA was extracted directly from tissue samples before the nested PCR technique was performed. The virion core protein (P4b) gene is partially sequenced and analyzed with routine histological sectioning. Results showed that the virus causes pock lesions of dermal hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis. Hyperplasia and congestion of the chorioallantoic membrane were also recorded. The study also showed that the DNA of FPV could be extracted directly from animal tissue without further purification. The sequence analysis showed that the FPV was confirmed in all samples clustered in clade A identical with Iranian and Egyptian isolates. In conclusion, this study approved that the virus belongs to the classical dermal type of poxviruses and the short genetic distances between viruses related to closely neighboring countries. We also concluded that the conservative P4b gene included mutation sites that make this gene practical for diagnosing the virus and phylogenetic analysis.
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