& livestock assay data sheet
- Ultrasensitive detection of swinepox virus (SWPV) by real time PCR
Swinepox virus (SWPV) is the only member of the
Suipoxvirus genus of the poxviridae family of viruses, and is the
etiologic agent of a worldwide disease specific to swine.
Infected pigs develop a skin disease characterized by generalized
pustular lesions. High
rates of illness (occasionally >80%) can occur, although the
mortality rate is low. The disease occurs mainly on farms with
poor management and housing conditions, and primarily affects
pigs less than 3 months of age; adult pigs show milder signs.
The disease is transmitted by pig lice or through direct animal
contact. Swinepox must be differentiated from a similar pustular
disease of pigs caused by vaccinia virus; the two are difficult
to distinguish clinically.
Swinepox begins with an incubation period of approximately one week.
Small red areas then develop, most frequently on the face, ears,
insides of the legs, and abdomen. These red areas than develop
into papules and, within a few days, pustules or small vesicles
may be seen. The centers of the pustules become dry and scabbed
and are surrounded by a raised, inflamed zone so that the
lesions appear umbilicated. Later, dark scabs of 1-2 cm diameter
form. Affected piglets develop a “spotty” look. The scabs
eventually drop or are rubbed off without leaving a scar.
Successive bouts of lesions can occur, so that all lesions are
not at the same stage. During early stages of the disease
affected pigs may have mild fever, inappetence, and dullness.
Culture detection has been used in the past, but lacks sensitivity and
cannot easily differentiate swinepox virus from vaccinia virus.
However, molecular detection by PCR (Medaglia et al., 2011), is
rapid, sensitive and specific, and is a good alternative to
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Help identify swinepox carriers
Help differentiate SWPV infections from vaccinia
Help ensure that herds and facilities are free of
Early prevention of spread of the virus among animals
Minimize human exposure to the virus
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
Medaglia, M.L.G., Pereira, A. D. C., Freitas, T.R.P. and Damaso, C.R.
(2011) Swinepox Virus Outbreak, Brazil, 2011. Emerg. Infect.
Dis. 2011 17: 1976–1978.
whole blood in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube, or
lesion swab, or scab, or 0.2 ml fresh, frozen or fixed
types other than those listed here, please call to confirm
specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See
for more information.
2 business days
Qualitative real time PCR