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Open Access Orf Virus Infection in a Hunter in Western Austria, Presumably Transmitted by Game

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A variety of animals host parapoxviruses. Orf virus is prevalent in sheep and goats in the Tyrol region of Austria and Northern Italy. Zoonotic infections in humans mostly occur after occupational exposure. We report here a case of a hunter with a typical Orf lesion (contagious ecthyma) on the finger, with no history of direct contact with domestic animals. Three weeks previously he had been hunting chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) and cut his finger while handling a carcass. Parapoxvirus infection was confirmed by electron microscopy and PCR, and the species was identified by DNA sequencing. The sequence was highly homologous with prevalent sheep Orf virus and rather distant from parapoxviruses found in red deer in Northern Italy. As this case indicated that the infection was acquired via game, we performed spot testing in the suspected area and detected several seropositive animals. This is a strong indication that Orf virus has been introduced into chamois in Western Austria. This probably occurred via roaming domestic sheep sharing the high alpine areas during the summer months.

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Keywords: CHAMOIS; GAME; HUNTING; ORF VIRUS; PARAPOXVIRUS; SKIN INFECTION; ZOONOSIS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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  • Acta Dermato-Venereologica is a bi-monthly international peer-reviewed journal for clinical and experimental research in the field of dermatology and venereology.

    It was founded in 1920 by Johan Almqvist and edited during 1936-1969 by Sven Hellerström. Since 1970, the journal has been published for the Society for the Publication of Acta Dermato-Venereologica on a non-profit basis.

    Acta Dermato-Venereologica publishes high-quality manuscripts in English dealing with new observations on basic dermatological and venereological research, as well as clinical investigations. Each volume also features a number of review articles in special areas, as well as short Letters to the Editor to stimulate debate and to disseminate important clinical observations. Acta Dermato-Venereologica has rapid publication times and is amply illustrated with a large number of colour photographs to enhance understanding.

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    • ~ Atopic dermatitis and contact allergy
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    • ~ Skin immunology and lymphoma
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    Extensive papers, proceedings from congresses and symposia are printed as supplements to the journal. Announcements concerning pertinent dermatological meetings and books received are also published.
    Readership: Doctors and scientists interested in dermatology, skin biology and venereology.

    Acta Dermato-Venereologica has an impact factor of 3.007.

    Issues between 1998 up to 2005 can be found at http://www.medicaljournals.se/acta/content

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