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Volume 17, Number 8–August 2011
Cowpox Virus in Llama, Italy
Giusy Cardeti, Comments to Author Alberto Brozzi, Claudia Eleni, Nicola Polici, Gianlorenzo D'Alterio, Fabrizio Carletti, Maria Teresa Scicluna, Concetta Castilletti, Maria R. Capobianchi, Antonino Di Caro, Gian Luca Autorino, and Demetrio Amaddeo
Author affiliations: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Regioni Lazio e Toscana, Rome, Italy (G. Cardeti, A. Brozzi, C. Eleni, M.T. Scicluna, G.L. Autorino, D. Amaddeo); Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale, Viterbo, Italy (N. Polici); Ambulatorio Veterinario Farnese, Farnese, Italy (G. D'Alterio); and National Institute for Infectious Diseases, Rome (F. Carletti, C. Castilletti, M.R. Capobianchi, A. Di Caro)
Suggested citation for this article
Cowpox virus (CPXV) was isolated from skin lesions of a llama on a farm in Italy. Transmission electron microscopy showed brick-shaped particles consistent with orthopoxviruses. CPXV-antibodies were detected in llama and human serum samples; a CPXV isolate had a hemagglutinin sequence identical to CPXV-MonKre08/1–2-3 strains isolated from banded mongooses in Germany.
The llama (Lama glama) is a South American camelid used as a pack and meat animal by Andean cultures since pre-Hispanic times. Today, llama breeding is spreading in North America where the animals are used for wool production and as livestock guards. In Italy, llamas are raised in the northern and central regions to produce meat and wool, but they are more commonly considered companion animals or used as pack animals for trekking tours in the mountains.
Viral diseases of llamas are becoming better known as a result of extensive research in North America (1) prompted by the recent growth in commercial breeding of New World camelids. Many of the viral diseases that affect camelids are related to bovine, equine, ovine, and swine virus infections. When examining skin lesions on llamas, viral diseases to consider as differential diagnoses include vesicular stomatitis, rabies, poxvirus (contagious ecthyma and cowpox virus [CPXV]) (2), foot-and-mouth disease, bluetongue, and mucocutaneous fibropapillomas (3).
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Suggested Citation for this Article
Cardeti G, Brozzi A, Eleni C, Polici N, D'Alterio G, Carletti F, et al. Cowpox virus in llama, Italy. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 Aug [date cited]. http://www.cdc.gov/EID/content/17/8/101912.htm
Comments to the Authors
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Giusy Cardeti, Laboratory of Electron Microscopy and Special Virology, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Regioni Lazio e Toscana, Rome, Italy; email: firstname.lastname@example.org