Diagnosis of Bovine-Associated Parapoxvirus Infections in Humans: Molecular and Epidemiological Evidence


  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

  • The findings and conclusions in this report have not been formally disseminated by CDC and should not be construed as representing any agency or policy.

A. MacNeil. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, MS G-14, Atlanta, GA, 30333, USA. Tel.: +404 639 4651; Fax: +404 639 3111; E-mail: aho3@cdc.gov


Orf virus, pseudocowpox virus and bovine papular stomatitis virus, are parapoxviruses, associated with domestic ruminants, which are capable of causing cutaneous infections in humans. Owing to virtually identical appearances in humans, clinical differentiation of these viruses is difficult. We discuss three recent occurrences of parapoxvirus infection, involving contact with domestic bovine and use a combination of molecular and epidemiological data in the diagnosis. These cases underscore the utility of modern diagnostic tools, along with species-specific contact information in acquiring a definitive diagnosis, in the case of suspected parapoxvirus infection.