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Molecular Genetic Analysis of Orf Virus: A Poxvirus That Has Adapted to Skin

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, 720 Cumberland St, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Elliot J. Lefkowitz and Chris Upton
Viruses 2015, 7(3), 1505-1539;
Received: 23 February 2015 / Revised: 17 March 2015 / Accepted: 19 March 2015 / Published: 23 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poxvirus Evolution)
Orf virus is the type species of the Parapoxvirus genus of the family Poxviridae. It induces acute pustular skin lesions in sheep and goats and is transmissible to humans. The genome is G+C rich, 138 kbp and encodes 132 genes. It shares many essential genes with vaccinia virus that are required for survival but encodes a number of unique factors that allow it to replicate in the highly specific immune environment of skin. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that both viral interleukin-10 and vascular endothelial growth factor genes have been “captured” from their host during the evolution of the parapoxviruses. Genes such as a chemokine binding protein and a protein that binds granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-2 appear to have evolved from a common poxvirus ancestral gene while three parapoxvirus nuclear factor (NF)-κB signalling pathway inhibitors have no homology to other known NF-κB inhibitors. A homologue of an anaphase-promoting complex subunit that is believed to manipulate the cell cycle and enhance viral DNA synthesis appears to be a specific adaptation for viral-replication in keratinocytes. The review focuses on the unique genes of orf virus, discusses their evolutionary origins and their role in allowing viral-replication in the skin epidermis. View Full-Text
Keywords: parapoxvirus; orf virus; poxvirus evolution parapoxvirus; orf virus; poxvirus evolution
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fleming, S.B.; Wise, L.M.; Mercer, A.A. Molecular Genetic Analysis of Orf Virus: A Poxvirus That Has Adapted to Skin. Viruses 2015, 7, 1505-1539.

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