Molecular characterisation of a novel pathogenic avipoxvirus from the Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) Academic Article uri icon


  • Avipoxviruses are significant pathogens infecting a wide range of wild and domestic bird species globally. Here, we describe a novel genome sequence of magpiepox virus (MPPV) isolated from an Australian magpie. In the present study, histopathologically confirmed cutaneous pox lesions were used for transmission electron microscopic analysis, which demonstrated brick-shaped virions with regular spaced thread-like ridges, indicative of likely infectious particles. Subsequent analysis of the recovered MPPV genome positioned phylogenetically to a distinct sub-clade with the recently isolated avipoxvirus genome sequences from shearwater and canary bird species, and demonstrates a high degree of sequence similarity with CNPV (96.14%) and SWPV-2 (95.87%). The novel MPPV complete genome is missing 19 genes with a further 41 genes being truncated/fragmented compared to SWPV-2 and contains nine predicted unique genes. This is the first avipoxvirus complete genome sequence that infects Australian magpie.

publication date

  • 2020