Emerging Infectious Diseases (Dec 2019)

Human Infection with Orf Virus and Description of Its Whole Genome, France, 2017

  • Julien Andreani,
  • Jessica Fongue,
  • Jacques Y. Bou Khalil,
  • Laurene David,
  • Saïd Mougari,
  • Marion Le Bideau,
  • Jonatas Abrahão,
  • Philippe Berbis,
  • Bernard La Scola

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 25, no. 12
pp. 2197 – 2204


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Zoonotic transmission of parapoxvirus from animals to humans has been reported; clinical manifestations are skin lesions on the fingers and hands after contact with infected animals. We report a human infection clinically suspected as being ecthyma contagiosum. The patient, a 65-year-old woman, had 3 nodules on her hands. She reported contact with a sheep during the Aïd-el-Fitr festival in France during 2017. We isolated the parapoxvirus orf virus from these nodules by using a nonconventional cell and sequenced the orf genome. We identified a novel orf virus genome and compared it with genomes of other orf viruses. More research is needed on the genus Parapoxvirus to understand worldwide distribution of and infection by orf virus, especially transmission between goats and sheep.